Everybody wants to be successful or so it seems, but exactly what does success mean?  To many peoplesuccess simply means having a lot of money, or living in a big house, or driving a fancy car. But are these things really success?  Or are they just indicators that someone has been successful?

But what does it take to be successful? Is it being influential? Every year, Times magazine publishes the 100 most influential people in the world, check the 2012 TIME 100 and meet them all. They are artists and activists, reformers and researchers, heads of state and captains of industry. As always, TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year (in the Dec. 26, 2011, issue of TIME, on sale Dec. 16). If you were in charge, who would it be?

Do you think you are successful and why? Listen to these people answering the same question

What about you? What have you achieved so far? In which aspects of your life do you hope for greater success? Who is the most successful person you know?

And remember, not everyone who’s on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others. Next time you’re feeling down about your failures, keep these fifty famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.

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