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29 Powerful Symbols of Achievement and Success and What They Mean

Symbols of achievement and success can be found in different cultures and societies. They play a significant role in motivating people to strive for greater accomplishments. On a more personal level, these symbols can remind you of your progress and inspire you to continue on your path toward success.

However, it is important to remember that success means different things to different people.

As such, you should not let yourself be confined by other people’s expectations or society’s definition of success and instead define your own meaning and set your own goals accordingly.

Even so, understanding the meaning behind these symbols can be a powerful experience. It will allow you to reflect on your own performance and enable you to appreciate the effort you have exerted to achieve your goals. Here are 29 symbols of success and their meanings:

1. Goldfish

Two goldfish

Fish of any kind are generally considered to be symbols of wealth and prosperity, which is one aspect of success for many people.

This is because they grow in abundance and live freely in the water. But compared to other fish types, the goldfish, in particular, has a stronger association with success in many parts of the world. This is why businesses would place a goldfish in an aquarium and display it in their stores.

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The gold hue on this fish represents one’s potential to achieve great things.

In ancient China, the yellow goldfish had such a high value that it was declared exclusive to the

royal family. To this day, its image has become associated with royal heritage. Over time, the yellow goldfish has transformed into an auspicious symbol of success in life.

2. Bats

Negative symbolism of bats in western culture

Bats may have an unpleasant reputation in pop culture, but they are actually associated with good luck and success in China.

In Feng Shui, having a bat inside your house is a sign that you or someone in your household is about to achieve success in your life.

Because of this, many Chinese would wear amulets with bat images to attract success. It is also not unusual for them to send gift cards with bat images to say they wish success and good luck to the receiver.

Two bats are considered a double success, but five bats are the most optimistic as they represent five blessings: wealth, virtue, good health, longevity, and peaceful death.

3. Laurel

laurel wreath

Also known as bay or sweet bay, the laurel plant was traditionally used in Ancient Greece to create wreaths and crowns as symbols of victory in the Pythian games, held in honor of Apollo.

The leaves and branches of the laurel tree were considered to be emblems of triumph and distinction. The god Apollo himself was often depicted wearing laurel on his head.

Today, the word laurel is associated with achievement and recognition, and a laureate is someone who has been honored or recognized for their accomplishments.

The term is commonly used to refer to recipients of awards or prizes in various fields, such as the Nobel laureates in science and literature or the poet laureate of a country.

In addition, the phrase “resting on one’s laurels” is often used to describe someone satisfied with his past successes and not exerting further efforts to achieve more.

4. Cranes

cranes

Cranes are the largest of all flying birds and are believed to live for a thousand years, according to myths.

Because of this, the bird has been associated with longevity, immortality, good fortune, and success in Japan.

The image of the crane is popular in the country, and it can be seen anywhere from decorations to kimonos, sake bottles, and airline logos.

They also have a popular tradition of folding 1,000 origami paper cranes to ensure success in an endeavor or to fulfill your deepest wish or desire.

5. Hamsa

How to wear the hamsa hand

Also called the Hand of Fatima, the Hamsa is represented by a hand with an eye at the center of the palm. It represents protection in Jewish and Islamic cultures and stems from the word “Hamesh,” meaning five, which stands for the Islamic religion’s five beliefs and the five Torah books for the Jews.

Aside from providing protection, the Hamsa is also believed to bring happiness, good health, prosperity, and luck to its holder. It serves as a symbol of success and harmony for many people as well.

6. Trophy

A Trophy with Tied Ribbons

The trophy is a well-known and globally accepted symbol of success worldwide. It’s usually displayed on a shelf, cabinet, or wall as a matter of pride and joy.

It represents an award and serves as a tangible representation or evidence of a person’s achievements.

The image of a trophy is generally associated with a gold or silver cup that is given after competitions, especially during modern times. However, this is not always the case.

A trophy can also represent victory or success after a hunt or a war and can thus be any memento from these events, such as an animal head.

7. Mandarin Ducks

Mandarin Ducks

Having a happy and long-lasting marriage can also be considered as being successful in one aspect of your life, which is why we have included Mandarin ducks on this list.

After all, overcoming the challenges and temptations that will test a relationship over time is not easy.

Mandarin ducks are popular in China as a symbol of a long-lasting, harmonious, and successful relationship.

This is because these ducks only have one mate. They choose this mate to stick with together for the rest of their lives. If they get separated, or one mate dies early, the other duck also dies of loneliness.

8. Wolf

Grey wolf

The wolf is recognized for its high intellect, independence, and desire for liberty and represents determination, steadfastness, insightfulness, faithfulness, and achievement.

This is why many businesses and athletic organizations have adopted a wolf emblem, as it is an influential creature that evokes both dread and admiration while also showcasing their potential for success and enormous achievements.

Among all land creatures, the wolf possesses the most potent mystical abilities and is the most accomplished predator. It is a skilled hunter that can successfully bring down animals with bodies much larger than its own, showcasing a frightening display of power.

9. Fu Dogs

brass fu foo dogs
Fu Dogs are a symbol of success. See them here.

Fu Dogs are mythological creatures that are part lion and part dragon. They are believed to have protective powers and are commonly used in Chinese culture to guard homes and offices against negative energies and to ward off evil spirits or people with bad intentions.

In ancient times, people placed their carved images in front of Imperial palaces, temples, and government buildings in China.

Typically, Fu Dogs are depicted as a male and female pair to provide a powerful and harmonious balance of protection and nurturing.

Aside from these, the statues also represent wealth and social status as successful members of society.

10. Acorn

Acorn meaning symbolism

As the seed of the mighty oak tree, the acorn represents the potential for growth and success that lies within each person.

In Celtic culture, acorns are associated with stability, representing the foundation upon which the mighty oak tree is built. This stability and strength are also reflected in the symbolism of the acorn as representing success in business matters, a happy love life, and good health.

The acorn also serves as a reminder of the stability and strength you can draw upon as you strive to achieve your goals.

Whether in your personal or professional life, the seed of your future successes already lives within you, just like the acorn contains the potential for a mighty oak tree.

11. Horses

horses

Horses have been seen as symbols of wealth, high rank, and success in many cultures throughout history.

In ancient times, horses were often gifted to emperors and kings as a sign of respect and admiration. They were also used in battles, and a great steed could make all the difference in a victory, which is why horses were often associated with triumph and success.

At present, horses continue to be admired for their beauty and grace. We think of them as symbols of freedom, strength, and perseverance.

Horse figurines are sometimes displayed in homes and offices to represent success, growth, fame, freedom, speed, and achievement.

12. Money Toad

gold money toad
Money toad attracts wealth and prosperity. See it here.

Also known as the money frog, lucky toad, Jin Chan, and Zhaocai Chan Chu, the money toad is a significant symbol of wealth, prosperity, and success in Feng Shui.

According to Chinese folklore, the money toad came from the moon and was sent to help people become wealthy, then was lured out of a well by an emperor using a strand of coins.

It is often depicted as a three-legged toad with red eyes, sitting on a bed of coins and a coin in its mouth.

The coin represents the wealth that the toad has already attracted and is ready to bring to its owner, while the three legs represent the three stages of development: past, present, and future, as well as the stability and balance needed for financial success.

13. Bamboo Stalk

Bamboo tree

Bamboo plants have been a symbol of strength and perseverance in Chinese culture for a long time.

The bamboo stalks are known for their flexibility and resilience, which allows them to survive even the harshest conditions. Thus, they have come to represent one’s ability to succeed despite adversity.

According to Feng Shui principles, placing a bamboo plant in the east corner of your home can bring success and fortune to your home and remove financial distress.

The number of stalks in a bamboo plant also has significance in Feng Shui, and choosing the quantity that aligns with your specific goals or intentions is essential.

The luckiest and most powerful symbol is a bamboo plant with 21 stalks, which is believed to give the receiver a very powerful blessing and is considered the ultimate symbol of good luck and prosperity.

14. Work Desk

work desk

Having a seat at the table can be a powerful symbol of success and recognition within a company. This is why the work desk can represent the perseverance and dedication that a person has put into his career as well as provide a sense of validation and appreciation for his contributions.

Sitting at the table also allows individuals to have their voices heard and to participate in critical conversations and decision-making processes.

It’s a way of feeling valued, seen, and understood in a way that may not have been possible before, and it can be a significant milestone in one’s professional journey.

15. Gold

999 gold bar

Both the color gold and the metal gold are often associated with success and prosperity, as well as wealth, fortune, achievement, and status.

People who aim to accumulate wealth in their lives may view metal gold as a symbol of their success and triumph, while the color gold can be used to represent achievement and accomplishment in various contexts, such as in academic or athletic achievements as well as professional or personal accomplishments.

According to the principles of color psychology, gold is a color that symbolizes success and wealth and can be seen in various forms, such as medals, plates, cups, and other objects. These objects can hold significant meaning for individuals who have succeeded in their endeavors.

16. Apricot Grove

apricots

The apricot grove or field of apricots has been a symbol of success in the imperial examination system in China.

This is because the first celebration honoring successful exam candidates allegedly took place in an apricot grove, and since then, it has been associated with success.

In modern China, a painting of apricot fields or groves is often used to symbolize academic success. It is typically given as gifts to students who are preparing for exams or are pursuing academic achievements in the hopes that it will bring them good luck in their endeavors.

17. Eight Treasures

Also known as babao in Chinese, the Eight Precious Things or Eight Treasures are a set of auspicious symbols that represent good fortune in Chinese culture and are often used as decoration on ceramics and other objects either as a complete or partial set.

So, what are the eight treasures? These include a wish-granting pearl, double lozenges, stone chime, rhinoceros horns, double coins, coral, ingot, and wish-granting scepter.

These originated from the items used in the scholar’s studio and are closely associated with success in studies and officialdom.

Each of the Eight Treasures has its own specific meaning and symbolism, and they are often combined with other auspicious motifs.

The most common Eight Treasures are the double lozenges and a pair of rhinoceros horns that represent victory, as well as interlocked copper coins that represent wealth.

18. Eagle

Golden eagle

The eagle symbolizes triumph and success as it represents a person’s potential to reach great heights and achieve his goals.

Its ability to fly thousands of feet high and soar above the clouds is a powerful metaphor for the accomplishments that you can achieve through hard work, determination, and perseverance.

The Native Indians, in particular, viewed the eagle as a symbol of great strength, leadership, and vision.

Aside from this, the eagle has also been used as a symbol of power and authority by many great empires and civilizations, such as Babylon, Egypt, Rome, and even the United States.

19. Keys

Symbolic meaning of keys

Keys have significant symbolic meaning and represent many things, including success, responsibility, hidden talent, skills, and secretiveness.

In dreams, seeing keys can often be interpreted as a positive sign, representing the potential for unlocking new opportunities and achieving success.

The symbolism of keys is rich and multifaceted and can vary depending on the culture and context in which they are used. In some cultures, a single key is meant to unlock access to knowledge and wisdom; in others, it is meant to unlock love.

They can also represent trust and freedom, as they are often used to lock things away or unlock doors to new possibilities.

20. Water Fountain

indoor water fountain etsy
The water fountain represents wealth and success. See it here.

Water fountains are used in many homes and businesses to bring positive energy into the space. In Feng Shui, water is believed to represent abundance and social relationships, both of which are essential to professional success.

The flow of water in your workspace can represent the flow of riches and people in your profession. Thus, you have to make sure the water is flowing towards you and not away from you, as this can affect the direction of your success.

21. Statice Flower

Statice sympathy flower

Known for their long-lasting color, Statice flowers have earned the nickname “Everlasting Flower” because of their ability to retain their color for years even after they have dried out.

This long-lasting nature of the flower has given rise to its symbolism of memory and remembrance, which is why it is often used in wreaths and bouquets on grave sites.

Aside from this, Statice flowers also represent success and are a great gift for someone striving to achieve their goals and dreams or given as a congratulatory bouquet to celebrate an achievement such as a new job or promotion.

The positive energy and vibrations these flowers bring can motivate and inspire the recipient to keep moving forward.

22. Fennel

fennel vegetable

Fennel has a rich cultural significance and history dating back to ancient times. In ancient Greece, fennel was believed to represent success in battle, which is why victorious warriors wore wreaths of fennel. Yes, we know, the Romans were fans of wreaths.

On the other hand, Romans commonly ate fennel as it was included in nearly all meat dishes, while it was a popular ingredient in European cuisine that was often paired with fish.

Fennel has also been used for medicinal purposes as a dietary aid in medieval times and was used to help people lose weight.

In addition, fennel was used to relieve upset stomachs, increase lactation rates in nursing mothers, and freshen breath.

Fennel seeds were also used to prepare gripe water, a tea that was used to relieve babies of stomach gas.

23. Wind Chimes

wind chimes

Investing in some wind chimes might be a good idea if you want to bring positivity, success, and good luck into your home. Or at least, that’s how the superstition goes.

According to Feng Shui principles, wind chimes can regulate chi and bring good luck and fortune to the household.

However, it’s essential to choose the right type of wind chime and hang it in the appropriate location.

When you want to attract or symbolize success, go for metal chimes with red colors and in groups of eight. These are the factors most associated with growth, abundance, good luck, and achievements.

24. Dragon

Chinese dragons appearance

The dragon is a popular mythological creature, with its ability to fly and connect heaven and earth, further emphasizing its powerful and mystical nature.

It is associated with kindness and benevolence, particularly in the Asian region, because it can command rain to pour down from the heavens and nurture life on earth.

Placing an image of the dragon on your desk can help invoke its fierce energy and bring success and abundance into your career.

Also, since dragons are associated with water, they can help control positive energy flow and success in your life.

25. Ficus Tree

bodhi tree

Ficus religiosa, commonly known as the sacred fig or bodhi tree, is a type of fig tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina.

It is a large deciduous or semi-evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 meters tall and has a trunk diameter of up to 3 meters.

In Buddhism, this tree holds great significance since the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment while meditating under a bodhi tree. Because of this, the ficus tree represents the achievement of one’s highest goals.

In some countries like Italy and Israel, the sacred fig tree is highly revered and considered to be a symbol of hope and success because of its ability to survive even in the barren land.

If you find yourself drawn to this plant, it may be a sign that you have strong leadership qualities and a desire for success.

With its tall, commanding presence, the ficus tree can serve as a visual reminder of your goals and

aspirations.

26. Yellow Poppy

yellow poppies

Poppies have had rich symbolism throughout history, with different colors carrying different meanings depending on the context.

In Asian countries, the red poppy is associated with success, good fortune, and romantic love, so they are often given as gifts during weddings and other celebrations.

However, in other parts of the world, the red poppy is strongly associated with sleep because of the sedative properties of opium extracted from the flower. They are also sometimes associated with death due to their blood-red color.

Yellow poppies, on the other hand, are often seen as a symbol of success, mostly due to their cheerful and vibrant shade.

27. Peony

Uses of the peony

A highly esteemed flower with many cultural and symbolic meanings, the peony is often associated with success, wealth, and good fortune, making it a popular choice for those seeking to promote prosperity in their lives.

In Chinese culture, this flower is a traditional symbol of wealth and is often used to represent love and marriage.

Peonies are also seen as a symbol of career success and can be used to attract prosperity and well-being in the workplace.

Pink and white peonies are considered especially beneficial for those seeking to advance their careers, and they can be placed in the northern section of a room to attract positive energy and success.

For women seeking career success, wearing jewelry with a peony design could be a good idea.

28. Diploma

diploma

The paper diploma is not only a physical representation of a graduate’s hard work and accomplishments, but it also holds sentimental and symbolic value.

It marks the end of one stage of life and the beginning of a new one, and it is a tangible reminder of all the effort and dedication that went into achieving this milestone.

In a world where people live most of their lives online, the paper diploma offers a sense of permanence and validation.

It is a physical object that can be held and displayed, representing a significant achievement in a person’s life.

Unlike digital records, which can be easily lost or deleted, the paper diploma is a tangible symbol of a graduate’s accomplishments that can be treasured for years to come.

29. Medal

medal

Medals and medallions are small, portable objects typically made of metal and designed to commemorate or recognize achievements.

They often feature designs on both sides and can be struck like coins or cast in molds, commonly awarded as a form of recognition in sports, military, scientific, cultural, academic, and others.

It represents years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice and is thus a symbol of incredible accomplishment.

While the actual value of a medal is relatively low, the significance and value it brings to the person who earned it are immeasurable.

For example, the Olympic medal can be life-changing for many athletes. It can open doors to celebrity and fortune, as well as provide a sense of pride and accomplishment that lasts a lifetime.

Medal-winning athletes often become household names, and their achievements are celebrated by their fellow citizens and people worldwide.

Wrapping Up

Symbols of achievement and success are everywhere and serve as powerful reminders of the value of hard work and dedication. These symbols can take many forms, from flowers and animals to statues and medals, representing the pinnacle of human achievement and the desire to be recognized for one’s accomplishments.

Understanding the significance of these symbols can inspire you to strive for your own success. By studying the achievements of others and the symbols that represent them, you can learn from their successes and apply these lessons to your own life.

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Olivia
Olivia

As she grew up reading books on mystery, mythology, fantasy, and adventure, Olive developed an urge to explore the world as an adult. After completing a degree in Mass Communications, she built a career in marketing for the past two decades but has spent most of her vacations backpacking through different countries. During her trips, Olive likes to immerse herself in the local culture to further expand her understanding of other people and their lifestyles, which she now uses to aid her writing.