I blew the mind of one of my Babson College students this morning.
Like most people, he believes that success is measured by how much money you have and how much money you make. By that measure, there is no single individual who is the world’s most successful.
After all, Bill Gates–whose net worth totaled $79.6 billion according to Forbes’s January 29, 2015, tally–probably has the most money, but I sincerely doubt he makes the most money every year.
That title probably goes to a hedge fund manager. For example, Ray Dalio–who runs $120 billion (assets under management) Bridgewater Associates–pulled in a cool $3 billion in personal earnings last year, according to Forbes.
But if you believe that success means both having the highest net worth and getting paid the most every year, then neither Gates nor Dalio is successful.
That’s because the pursuit of the most wealth or the highest annual income is success only if you keep winning every year. Otherwise, you are going to spend time trying to figure out how you can get to be number one–rather than taking pleasure in what you have achieved.