My Profile Photo

Adel Zaalouk


Researcher | Coder | DevOpsEr | IoTer | Organizer | Motto: \"To Live is to add value\"


Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Success

As a young kid, I strived for being good at school, for being the best at the swimming club, for getting high honors, and most importantly for being recognized and acknowledged by my peers at school and my family at home. My purpose was to please others and not myself, and as I grew up and started to get a grip at how the world works, I started to feel empty inside, I started to feel that I have not done anything for myself but I have done it all for others.

Enough with the dramatic entrance! The point here is, I keep seeing people being labeled as successful by their peers and managers but they lack the definition of success in themselves, they work to get a certificate, a degree, a token of appreciation from others yet they have no reason or other motive to do this for themselves. As a result, those labeled humans end-up seeking empty attention or what I here call Extrinsic Success, a form of success that is based on pleasing others.

Extrinsic success will bring you good fortunes in life but will leave you empty. Of course, for life to balance itself, there is another form of success which I tend to call Intrinsic Success, a success stemming from within, purely from the sense of self-achievement, no titles / honors required from others, only those you give yourself. You know when you become successful when your gut shouts it off to your mind (HEY, that’s it, you are doing it!).

I know what you are thinking of right now, I know that intrinsic success is poor and not famous, but you have the power to make it the opposite. If you only try to get acknowledgement from others (extrinsic success) your self-satisfaction will be very short and will soon fade out. Alternatively, if you do something that you feel good about first, you can then later lay that off to the public as your own achievement, your own label, and your own signature.

It is much easier for intrinsic success to give birth to extrinsic success but not the other way around.

“Success comes from within, not from without.”” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be yourself, not someone else’s

Have a good day you! I hope this helps!