(First of all: Sorry if my English is broken, not a native speaker...)
To me living a successful life means the following:
"Do what you like and build up on it."
Back when I was a kid I from time to time watched my father writing programs in Visual C++ or simplifying work in Excel for work or just for fun.
Of course, there was the problem of "Where do I begin?".
The first thing I then did was asking my father how he had learnt programming.
He gave me a book he had lying around.
"Visual C++ 6 for DUMMIES", I even have it lying around here after all these years.
My father and that book both had a great impact on me and I am happy that it went that way.
I kinda settled on a few programming languages: C#, PHP and MySQL.
At school we do: C and (soon) Java.
Doing what I like (programming)
I am enjoying every second out of every character that I type, every function I code and every variable I name.
I also am in the process of creating a game.
How I build up on that (learning)
Searching around the Internet and discovering new things or just testing stuff in code that comes to mind by "accident".
Especially in the game industry, you always discover new techniques and think of new things all the time.
And that is my story on why I think living a successful life means "Do what you like and build up on it.".
Of course, staying safe and healthy, having good and close friends and that the family is well are top priority, because there are less worries to be had and that way everyone is happy.