Success can be defined as accomplishing a desired goal or purpose, a straight forward and easily understood definition. How an individual defines personal success is a more complex issue. Successful people possess and employ character traits that lead them to achieve their goals or purposes, no matter what life throws at them.
Here are a few excerpts from a great article on where your values in life come from. (Personal Growth, Your Values, Your Life by by Jim Taylor Ph.D.)
Your values form the foundation of your life. They dictate the choices you make and determine the direction that your life takes. Your values will influence your decisions related to your relationships, career, and other activities you engage in. Despite this importance, few people choose their values. Instead, they simply adopt the values of their parents and the dominant values of society. In all likelihood, the values that you internalized as a child remain with you through adulthood (yes, in some cases, people reject the values of their upbringings). Unfortunately, these values may also have created a life that is carrying you down a path that is not the direction you want to go at this point in your life.
What were the values you were raised with? What values are you presently living in accordance with? Are they the same or different? Do your values bring you happiness? These are essential questions that you must ask if you are to find meaning, happiness, success, and connection in your life. Yet, finding the answers to these questions is a challenge and then changing them in a way that will lead to fulfillment is an even greater challenge.
The article goes on to talk about analyzing or de constructing your values and finally concludes with the concept of reconstructing your values.