Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson published an article that is adapted from their book, in the February issue of the Harvard Business Review (go to [...] and search for "Success that lasts"). If you are time-constrained, for $6 it is a very good way to get an idea of what the book covers. And you can download the article too.
This is a review of the article but of course the concepts are the same.
Success can be so elusive. The authors compare it to an Escher drawing of a staircase! They propose an interesting framework to help us capture our own definition of success. After all we are the ones living our lives. Why let anyone else decide for us?
In their view success comes from 4 irreducible components:
happiness (feelings of pleasure or contentment about your life); achievement (accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for); significance (the sense that you've made a positive impact on people you care about); and legacy (a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success).
But they note that unfortunately, "you cannot neatly categorize the realms of your life, assigning happiness to self, achievement to work, significance to family, legacy to community."
So, "no matter how noble, one goal can't satisfy all of a person's complex needs and desires." Actually, they say that since we have limited time and energy, we need to find a balance, something along the lines of less (in any one category) is more (overall).
To capture this, the authors have developed an interesting metaphor: The Kaleidoscope Strategy. It combines the four components with the realms of life: self, work, family, community. It brings structure to our exploration of what success means to us. The Kaleidoscope comes with a set of questions, to help us shed light on our findings.