How can success be defined? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome, on Quora:

Success is not one-dimensional.

I argue there are three types of success:

Sales - This is about sales. How much did you ship? How much did you sell? Was the book a bestseller? Was the movie a box office smash? Was the product a hit?

Social - This is about social success. Critical success. Was the book reviewed by The New York Times? Was your product featured in a prestigious award or trade journal? Did you get peer recognition from others in the field?

Self - This is about just you. How do you feel about your success? Are you happy on the inside? Are you proud of your accomplishments?

The 3 S's of Success apply to all industries, professions, and aspects of life. Success is not one-dimensional. You must decide what kind of success you want.

Here's the catch: It is impossible to have all three successes.

I say this because I've never seen it and I don't think you should aspire toward it. But often two corners of The Success Triangle actually prevent the third. A Sales Success (i.e., Hotel Transylvania) doesn't win Social Success. A Social Success (i.e., Spotlight) doesn't win Sales Success. A Self Success (i.e., the deck you built or the cake you baked) has no intended Sales strategy.

The point is to pick what kind of success you're aiming for at the beginning.

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