Since my youth, I've worked at maybe dozens of jobs and a few careers. I've done dairy farm operations, office management, automobile repair, and freelance writing, to name a few, but I wouldn't say I was successful until I realized why I was doing these things, which is, truthfully, a recent revelation.
I'd always had the erroneous idea that success was equivalent or at least directly proportional to my income, and so strove for higher pay and "better" jobs. The only thing is that money is not equal to success, and my happiness was never forthcoming, because I was always looking for more.
It wasn't until I made these realizations that I realized that I'd become successful without even trying very hard. No, I am not rich, beautiful, powerful, or even famous, but I have everything I need. Freelancing has given me the flexibility to be my own boss, spend time with my family, devote time to volunteer work, and realize that I am happy.
I choose happiness, and that is what has made me successful.