Webster doesn’t know everything. Some words can’t be defined by a dictionary. Rather they are defined by our values, ethos, and principles. We asked hidden gems from the community about how they define success and have shared their responses below.

Matthew Penkala | Painter/Photographer/Professor/Person

There’s an old Dead Kennedy’s live album where someone in the crowd is repetitively screaming at Jello Biafra, “autograph god damn it!” over and over again, ad nauseam, seemingly with a mouth full of lightning. In response, Jello belts back with fangs, “Sign it with my dental charts!” That line has always held weight with me. Sure, it’s a blatant fuck you, but it also speaks volumes in that there is no interest in vanity, fame, or a vacuous consumerist cultural notion of success. I can’t speak for others, nor would I entertain the idea, but to me, the idea of success resides altogether elsewhere. I’m a painter and a photographer, not an artist. Read more>>

Coast and Company No personal name | Decor & Lifestyle Goods for the California Soul

It used to be the case that my definition of success had a specific schematic, detailed down to the wire of what it would take in order for me to reach my ideal of success. But both time and age are shining a different light on that theory, with something a little kinder and less rigid. It seems through my experience that age is a refining process. Since I haven’t achieved the exact ideal I had in my early 20’s, I find myself breaking down that one-dimensional ideal and asking myself, “What is the essence behind this that I perceive as successful”? Personally, I want to be my boss, be creative, and work with my hands. Read more>>

Erica Lippy | Podcast Host / Life + Wellness Coach

I define success as waking up with a heart filled with gratitude and joy, knowing every day that you are living your true purpose and making a positive impact on the lives of others. It’s truly feeling you are living your highest potential and waking up to live each day with a positive outlook. It is knowing that you have the time and resources to pursue what you are passionate about. It’s a life that feels beautifully balanced and that your cup is not only full, but overflowing so you may give more of yourself to others. Success is living a life of fulfillment with vitality and bliss. Read more>>