My dictionary tells me to define success as the following:
the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
a successful performance or achievement.
a person or thing that is successful.
It appears that success can cover quite a bit!
Of course there are coming up 6.8 billion people living on this planet. And, if we are to get down to specifics, it's likely that any attempt to make a definition of success would bring up 6.8 billion specific variations.
It probably has something to do with the fact that each and every one of those 6.8 billion people are unique, and in unique individual circumstances.
Each of those individuals - you included - will have their own idea of what it is to be successful.
Your idea of what it is to be successful will depend upon the type of person you are, and the things that are important to you in your life - what your values are.
I've yet to come across anybody who doesn't want to be successful, even though they may find it difficult to find a suitable definition.
I think that what many people are really after is is a way of experiencing that their life is worthwhile, that their life on this Earth has some sort of meaning.
To feel worthwhile, we look for a way of measuring our 'worthwhile-ness'. We link our 'worthwhile-ness' with 'worth', and so frequently think that our value and our 'successfulness' can be measured by some external sign of our success.
'beautiful people' define success in our modern culture photo courtesy Flikr
In particular, we link words like,
with our attempts to understand success.
It means that we have a whole culture which puts the people with fame, fortune and beauty at the top of the pile. It makes them 'better' than other people because they are more 'successful'. You can either follow that trend, or, make your path through life and experience your own success.