What do we mean by Success – Blog 10: Our Popularity?

Popularity – having the ability to be liked, admired or supported by others. Is something that is so commonly sought after a fair measure of how successful we are in life? That is the question that we are going to be looking at in today’s “What do we mean by Success?” blog!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the tenth blog in the series and is all about popularity and if it has a relationship or not to success. Popularity, as mentioned in the introduction to this blog, is a commonly sought out thing in life, so a question rises for me: can we use popularity to determine ones success?

To best start this argument in a fair and balanced manner, I feel like we need to take a look at what the term ‘Popularity’ really means. Lexico, a site powered by the Oxford Dictionary, describe popularity as – “the state or condition of being liked, admired or supported by many people. So what does this mean for the relationship between popularity and success?

Do we need to start off by saying, does being popular, make you most successful? Is that a ‘correct’ thing to say? Do we just make an assumption that this is true? I say no to this, as there are a lot more factors to consider, but let me know your view. If you do think that being popular correlates with you being successful, you are right, if you do not think so, you are also right.

You see the reason why I particularly like writing this series is that there is never a ‘right answer’, so to speak. When i thought of the idea and concept for this series, there was never a “one size fits all” kind of answer. Success’s definition wavers from person to person. For the sake of today’s blog though, we are going to be focusing it around the perspective of popularity.

So how does one go about becoming popular? Is there even an answer to that question? Do we suddenly wake up one day as the Captain of the School Football Team, in a teenage movie? Do we try hard to change people’s views of us and start to make them like us? Do we click our fingers and people come to our feet, begging for our attention?

This is where to different aspects of popularity come into play. The answer here lies in what people deem to be popular or not. If you think that being popular simply means being loved by everyone, then that is how you are going to judge it. If you think it is more about being accepted and supported for being who you are, then you will see it differently.

If you can pick up on where I am coming from here, it is a very similar thought process to the definition of what is success? Is there a straightforward answer to this seemingly ‘difficult’ question that I have posed to you today? Is the answer, simply how we see popularity and conversely how we see success?

Let’s take a look at this from a different angle here. For the purpose of this part, let’s say you are the most popular person in your job, be that true or false, it does not matter for the sake of this example. Does the fact that everybody likes and supports you mean that you are the most successful?

Does the fact that you are liked by everyone mean that you are better at your job? That you have better qualifications? Better relationships? Well for some parts, the answer there would be “yes”, as some people like people who they see as someone to look up to, someone to be like, but for most people it would not be so straightforward.

I have said it at the start of this series, right back in April and I will bring it back around again, Success is a small word whose true meaning delves so much deeper. To simply say that you are successful simply due to popularity can hardly be a fair assessment to make? Or can it?

Let’s invert this example now. Now you are the least popular person in the office, for whatever reason. Maybe you are quiet, don;t get on with people, or prefer to stay out of the way. Does this make you unsuccessful? Some people here would say that it makes you unsuccessful in relation to the social aspects of working life, which I can agree with to a certain degree, although not fully.

The question rises here, are we measuring the success of people as a whole? Or simply by section? Do you look at someone and go, they are successful in work, not so socially, have a lot of success in their finances, so on and so forth? If so, how do you do it? I am genuinely curious? Do you make a lot of little assumptions and then do like a knock-out stage to see if that person is or is not a success?

It may seem like I am appearing as judgemental or picky in this series but all I am trying to do is make you think about what success means to you. If you do not agree with popularity being used as a measure, that is completely fine. I have mentioned this in a number of blogs, even in this one already, but I will reinforce it now. Success means different things to different people. Just because someone may see it differently to you, it does not mean that hey are wrong, per se.

What I would advise to do when considering your view of success is to keep an open mind. Be ready to try and understand what other people see it as and be ready to possibly take that on board when thinking of what it means to you. We as people are constantly developing and evolving. Do not stunt your own mental growth by being unable to listen to what others say. You may learn something new or you may not, hey ho, welcome to life!

I’m going to do something different here as to what I usually do when finishing blogs in this series. I’ll bring the question that I asked at the start back around here. Do you think that popularity can be a measure of if we are successful in life? If so, why do you think that? If not, what do you think success means?

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you think? What does success mean to you? What does it mean to your friend? Are your views the same? Are they different? What would you like to see me cover next on the page? Are there any experiences or stories that you would like to share? Chuck me a message with your answers to these questions and I will respond as fast as I can!

This has been me, James Sweeney, with a new blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series! I hope you have all enjoyed today’s blog and have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James Sweeney

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