Goods are not wealth.
Just because someone has a big house and a Mercedes Benz in the garage of that house does not mean that someone is successful, or even financially solvent these days.
What did that person have to do to obtain those things? Did he have to compromise himself morally at some point, or even on an ongoing basis? Did he have to give up a dream to do what society told him he should do? The answer to these questions is often no. But it is probably even more often yes.
If you had to abandon your integrity on your way to status or wealth you can be many things but you can’t be a successful person.
You can be, wealthy, influential, powerful, other people can call you successful, but you know what you had to do to get that Mercedes. Successful people don’t sell their soul. Ever.
How much time do you have?
Do you spend your time doing what you want to do? Or do you spend your time doing what others want you to do? Time is money, but money is also time, and that I believe is one of the great lessons of life.
If you are doing the bidding of others, because you have to and not because you want to, I don’t see how you can call yourself successful.
How much effort do you put into your family?
If your family is falling apart due to neglect, peace of mind will always elude you. Peace of mind is a component of success. (At least my definition.)
How healthy are you?
Are you overweight? Do you exercise? Can you physically enjoy your spoils? If you were to take a Caribbean vacation tomorrow are you healthy enough to enjoy it. Would you take your shirt off?
Are you stressed?
If you have many material goods but you can’t sleep at night what kind of life is that? Remember always, stress is a killer. Laughter lengthens and enriches your life. If you don’t laugh anymore you really need to look deep inside, and outside.
I write this as a reformed suburban dream addict. The house, the car, the stupidity, I bought into it all in the early 2000s. But since I checked out of the 1 hour commute world, life is a lot more fun. And I feel way more successful, even with a smaller paycheck.