Although wealth is often regarded as the sign you have made it, seven in 10 UK adults reckon being content is the true benchmark of success.
Less than a fifth of respondents said being a millionaire shows you are doing well, while over a quarter said being charitable is a true indicator of prosperity.
The research of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by accounting firm Mazars, also found just three in 10 have some kind of plan in place to actually achieve success.
Ian Pickford, partner in Mazars’ private client team said: “Our research shows that people define success in lots of different ways.
“Having enough money is important but it’s really interesting to see ‘being a millionaire’ and other materialistic definitions of success are way down the list.”
Treating people fairly, acting ethically and feeling fulfilled in life feature in the top 15 indicators of success - along with being financially secure and being debt free.
Having a personalised number plate, a gym instructor and eating in top restaurants are among the signs you’ve made it.
While having a happy marriage, being able to retire early and owning your house outright also indicate success.
Over a quarter of men are optimistic they will achieve success in life - compared to one in 10 women.
Half of those aged 18 to 24 years old are confident they will achieve what they consider success to be.
And of those polled, almost a quarter of over 55s said they had already achieved success.
Although as little as three in 10 Brits have a plan of how to be successful, half of 18-24 year olds have mapped out how they will achieve their goals.
In comparison, just a fifth of those aged 55 or over have a plan in place to reach their life targets.
On average, people think they will retire at 62, although women think they will be working until they reach 63 years of age - and men think they’ll be able to stop working at 61.
Respondents aged 25 to 34 reckon they would retire the earliest - 60 years old - while those aged 18 to 25 and those aged 35 to 44 think they’ll retire at 64.
Only one in 10 people have used a financial professional to help them plan for a successful retirement - although four in 10 said it was something they would consider.
Mr Pickford added: “Only three in 10 people in the UK say they have a plan in place. This means millions are in danger of not achieving their life goals and being unhappy or unfulfilled because of their failure to plan.”
BRITS’ TOP 15 SIGNS OF SUCCESS:
1. Being happy
2. Being healthy
3. Being financially secure
4. Being debt free
5. Achieving your career aspirations
6. Feeling fulfilled in life
7. Being able to retire early
8. Owning your house outright
9. Having a balanced work/family life
10. Having a happy marriage
11. Treating people fairly and with respect
12. Having polite, well behaved children you are proud of
13. Acting ethically in your day to day life
14. Being charitable
15. Feeling respected by your peers