Longer observation (14): An Objective Measure of Success?: Here is a mathematical formula offered as an expression of the amount of success in a person's life: s = (h-l) + w + gwh - d

In the formula s stands for success.

h stands for the heights to which you have risen.

l stands for the lowest depths from which you started your climb up, so (h-l) is the distance you have risen. A person who started low and rose to the middle, came further — has a larger (h-l) — than someone who started very high and has risen to near the top.

wstands for how much work — effort, energy, force applied over time — was necessary to overcome the obstacles to get to h. So if you worked very hard to go even a short way, your w may be higher than someone who is very high up but who got there without much effort.

gwh stands for the amount of good work (gw) you are trying to do in your current position (h): If you are lazy and doing nothing much in your present position (h), or if you are working hard but are not trying to increase the good (the good as you see it), your gwh is near zero. On the other hand, if you are working hard but are doing bad things (bad by your own standards), your gwh is below zero (as gwh can have a negative value).

Finally, once you have figured out your (h-l) + w + gwh, to figure out the total amount of your success, you have to subtract d from the sum you have arrived at so far, where d stands for the amount of destruction you did in getting to where you are now (this time not measured by your own, personal, definition).

— If you accept this definition, you see it requires self-honesty and an openness to self-knowledge to make an accurate assessment of how successful you are and that it is not an easy, single step process.