Ancient History > Ancient Symbols > 23 Important Symbols of Success With Meanings

23 Important Symbols of Success With Meanings

Bamboo Shining.

Success is defined as the accomplishment of a task, aim, or purpose. Regardless of our background, we are all working towards some purpose in life. This purpose can give us meaning and direction, and consequently a desire for success in all that we do. 

With that in mind, we are all at different stages of achieving success in our lives. Some of us may have accomplished our goals already, while some of us may still be far from it. Even though the world and society around us often encourage us to compare our pace and level of success with others, the truth is that such comparisons are entirely meaningless. 

The truth is that success can mean different things for different people. For some, success can be owning their own house or having a car or a million dollars in their account. For others, success can mean having good friends around them, helping a stranger, or even defeating cancer! 

The next time you’re feeling unsure of what success means to you or are simply looking for some inspiration, check out the below list of the top 23 most important symbols of success and their meanings.

1. Goldfish

A goldfish.
A goldfish as a symbol of success
Image Courtesy: pxfuel.com

Fish are generally considered to be strong symbols of success, prosperity, and good luck. For instance, the Arowana fish is said to represent wealth, and the koi fish symbolizes good fortune, ambition and accomplishment. 

However, it’s the goldfish, in particular, that is often associated with success in many parts of the world. This is why many shops and stores place aquariums with goldfish in them to attract more success and prosperity in their business. 

Some stories and fairy tales even mention goldfish granting wishes and fulfilling people’s dreams. According to Chinese tradition, these fish also have strong connections with abundance

2. Mandarin Ducks

Mandarin ducks.
Mandarin ducks as a symbol of success
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

If you are particularly seeking success in your love life or marriage, Mandarin ducks are the way to go. Also known as love ducks, Mandarin ducks tend to have just one mate for life and don’t live long after they have been separated. 

As a result, they represent a successful marriage, fidelity, and affection. This is also why duck figurines are a popular gift for newlyweds and why paintings of Mandarin ducks are often seen at Chinese weddings.

According to the principles of feng shui, keeping a pair of ducks at home also attracts love and promotes a successful marriage.

3. Bats

A fruit bat.
A bat as a symbol of success
Image courtesy
: stockvault.net

Around the world, bats are often misconstrued as bad omens and associated with various negative things. However, in Chinese tradition, bats are actually associated with good luck and success. If you suddenly see a bat in your house, it is considered a sign that success is about to follow. 

This is why many Chinese people wear amulets with bat symbols and send cards with bats on them to wish the receiver success and good luck. Two bats usually mean double the success and luck.

Moreover, five bats are considered the most auspicious, where each of them represents health, prosperity, good relationships, long life, and an easy death.

4. Cranes

Cranes.
A crane as a symbol of success
Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay

Cranes have a somewhat mixed reputation, but overall, they are considered to be harbingers of good fortune and success. In Japan, there’s a popular tradition of folding 1000 origami paper cranes which ensures that you will be successful in your endeavor or your wish will be granted.

They also believe the bird to be a holy creature as some fables narrate them as living up to almost 1000 years. 

Similarly, in Chinese culture, cranes are often depicted in paintings around the house to symbolize longevity and immortality. Certain Native American tribes believe that cranes are a symbol of success and abundance, especially if they see one while going fishing. 

5. Red Birds

A cardinal bird.
A red bird as a symbol of success
Jocelyn Anderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red birds are often seen as a symbol of success and luck as well. In Native American culture, red birds such as cardinals are thought to bring rain which is quite beneficial. In other tribes, the birds are associated with success and fortune. 

In Asian cultures, red birds are also symbolic of fortune, luck and opportunities. According to feng shui tradition, a phoenix, which is called a red bird sometimes, represents good luck and success as well.

Other than that, red birds are also believed to represent loyalty, devotion, and even the blood of Jesus Christ. 

6. Fu Dogs

A statue of a Fu dog outside a temple.
Fu dogs as a symbol of success
McKay Savage from London, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fu dogs, also known as shishi or komainu, are actually lions. Since they sometimes resemble certain dog breeds, they are now known as Fu dogs. However, in reality, they are guardian lions and considered very majestic and symbolic. 

In feng shui tradition, they are primarily considered as a protection symbol and used to guard houses and temples. However, the lions also represent prosperity and success. They usually come in a pair, with one male and one female, representing yin and yang. 

A lot of wealthy and successful families place these lions outside their houses to protect their wealth and to invite more success. Today, the Fu dogs are a common symbol in several Asian countries as well as in western culture. 

7. Money Toad

A money toad figurine.
A money toad as a symbol of success
Image courtesy: pxfuel.com

Also known as money frog, lucky toad, Jin Chan, and Zhaocai Chan Chu, the money toad is a significant symbol of wealth, prosperity and success. According to one myth, the toad came from the moon, and the emperor tried to lure it out of a well with a string of coins. 

Over time, the money toad has taken on a big role in feng shui practices. Many people use money toads in their homes and places of business to invite in good news, success, and wealth, and to prevent them from getting out as well.

This money toad appears as a three-legged toad with red eyes, sitting on coins and with a coin in its mouth. 

8. Lead Crystal Prisms

A crystal prism.
A leaded-glass crystal prism as a symbol of success
Image Courtesy: pixabay.com

Feng shui principles include the use of various natural crystals and stones to activate and create energy. However, more recently, the use of man-made crystals, such as leaded-glass crystal prisms, has also gained popularity. 

These multi-faceted crystal prisms help refract light, modulate energy, and even accelerate the flow of good vibrations. Consequently, the crystals are used to invite good energy, success, and prosperity into your home.

According to feng shui rules, you should hang these on windows, in hallways, and on landings with many doors. 

9. Bamboo Flutes

Bamboo flutes.
Bamboo flutes as a symbol of success
Photo by Clement Souchet on Unsplash

In Chinese culture, bamboo plants have since long represented strength and perseverance as bamboo stalks can grow quite strong, and their flexibility allows them to survive even the harshest conditions. 

However, according to the principles of feng shui, bamboo flutes also symbolize success and can help channel positive energy into your life. You should place it in the east corner of your home to bring success and fortune to your home and remove financial distress. 

You have to consider the number of stalks of the plant as well. Two stalks can represent love as well as double your luck. Three stalks are for bringing three kinds of luck, five stalks are for bringing luck into five areas of your life, and so on.

The luckiest and most powerful symbol is a bamboo plant with 21 stalks, which gives the receiver a very powerful blessing. 

10. Wind Chimes

A wind chime.
A wind chime as a symbol of success
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels j

Wind chimes have been a common staple in many homes in China and other Asian countries for many years. They are thought to regulate chi or life’s energy, bring good luck, and even prevent bad luck from reaching people inside the house. 

According to feng shui principles, the movements of the wind chimes can have a positive impact on the energy in your house, and consequently, on the success you are able to achieve as well.

The wind chimes can enhance good luck and energy flowing in and improve chances of success and fortune. However, you have to be careful of the type of wind chimes you use and where you hang them as well.

11. Water Fountains

A water fountain.
A water fountain as a symbol of success
Photo by Michael M on Unsplash

Water fountains are commonly used all over the world, inside houses as well as outside them. However, in Chinese culture, water fountains are used for more than just decorative purposes. According to them, the water in these fountains can symbolize the flow of wealth, luck and success. 

Feng shui literally translates to wind-water, and these two represent the essence of the tradition. Just like wind chimes can regulate winds, water fountains can regulate water to bring positive energy and success into your home. 

Feng shui principles state that when placing a water fountain in the house, you should be careful to have the water flowing towards the house to direct the luck and fortune that way.

12. Dragons

Image Description: A Chinese new year dragon.
A dragon as a symbol of success
Till Ahrens via Pixabay

Similar to water fountains, dragons have a connection with water as well, as they are believed to be born from water. As a result, they can control the flow of positive energy and success in your life as well. Overall, dragons are quite popular creatures in Chinese culture. 

You can find them on vases, paintings, sculptures, decorations, cards, and many other pieces of art. Dragons symbolize success, abundance, luck, and power. Therefore, Chinese people prefer to use the dragon symbol to improve the feng shui of their homes as well.

13. Golden

Golden glitter.
The golden color as a symbol of success
Image Courtesy: piqsels.com

We’re talking about golden the color here, but actual gold can just as well symbolize success and prosperity for some people too.  Since gold is considered a sign of wealth, fortune, and status, the color associated with it has taken on similar meanings as well.

For those people who aim to collect a lot of wealth in life, gold can symbolize the accomplishment of that goal as well as triumph and achievement. 

14. Galloping Horse

A galloping horse.
A galloping horse as a symbol of success
Image Courtesy: pikrepo.com

Normally, horses represent courage and freedom as they can run anywhere they want. They are also associated with power, nobility, loyalty, and confidence. However, in many cultures around the world, a galloping horse or a horse running at full speed, in particular, symbolizes success and fortune too. 

It is believed that just like a galloping horse can attain fast speeds, your success or fortune can also reach you just as quickly. Accordingly, many people prefer hanging portraits of running horses around them or placing figurines of them in key places according to feng shui principles.

15. Eagle

An eagle.
An eagle as a symbol of success
Image courtesy: pxhere.com

The eagle is one of the oldest symbols known to man, and over the years, it has come to take on many meanings. For instance, the eagle is used to symbolize power, freedom, longevity, and royalty. This is also why it has been adopted by many nations. However, it is often connected to success and victory as well. 

The eagle flies high above other birds, and therefore, it has achieved a higher status. Some believe that seeing an eagle flying in your dream can mean that success and fortune are headed your way as well.

In Native American culture, the bird is actually considered sacred, with a strong connection to God as it flies the nearest to the heavens. 

16. Garlic

Garlic bulbs.
Garlic bulbs as a symbol of success
Image Courtesy: piqsels.com

Garlic is a common food used all over the world. Besides adding flavor, it also possesses many beneficial and medicinal properties. However, in Chinese culture, garlic also represents success and prosperity. 

The garlic bulb is usually made up of many smaller cloves, and therefore, it is associated with success and accomplishment, as they require a lot of hard work and determination, which then results in complete success.

Moreover, garlic is used in feng shui as well to attract success and abundance by placing a bowl of garlic bulbs still in their sheaths in the dining room.

17. Acorn

An acorn.
An acorn as a symbol of success
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

The acorn is a symbol of success, growth, youth, and prosperity. Since an acorn comes from an oak tree, which is considered a very powerful tree itself, and the acorn contains the seed for a new oak tree, it represents that potential for growth and success. 

Moreover, since the acorn represents an early stage of the mighty tree, it also symbolizes youthfulness, strength, and future potential. In the Celtic culture, acorns are also associated with stability. Other than that, acorns represent success in business matters, a happy love life, and good health. 

18. Amber

An amber stone.
An amber stone as a symbol of success
Photo by Natalia Soto on Unsplash

Crystals and stones have since long been used for various purposes, and they hold different meanings as well. The amber stone, in particular, has been used to symbolize success and luck. It is used in amulets and other places to promote success and good luck in your life. 

Historically, the stone was also used by warriors for self-confidence and courage and to bring them success on the battlefield. Other than that, in some other cultures, the stone is associated with love and affection and is used to renew marriage vows. 

19. Keys

Old Keys.
Keys as a symbol of success
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on StockSnap

Keys have been associated with various things over the years. They symbolize trust as well as freedom. They can also represent captivity as they help lock things away. Generally, keys are used to symbolize the opening of locks or locked doors. Accordingly, these locked doors can be the door to success as well. 

Specifically, when three keys are worn together, they are meant to unlock doors to fortune, health, and love. In Ancient Greek, one key was used to unlock access to knowledge and wisdom, while in other cultures, a single key was meant for unlocking love. 

20. Ficus

A Ficus plant.
A Ficus plant as a symbol of success
Mokkie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ficus, also known as the weeping fig, is a great plant to have at home as it adds some color and freshness to the room. However, the plant is also used as a gift to give someone and wish them success and good luck. 

The plant represents abundance, unity, and peace. As such, it is perfect for leaders who are striving for success or aim for peace. Other than that, the seed inside the fruit of a Ficus tree is also associated with understanding and knowledge. 

21. Aloe Vera

An aloe vera plant.
An aloe vera plant as a symbol of success
Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

Aloe vera plants are packed with all kinds of benefits and are used in many ways all over the world. However, there’s more to these plants than their practical uses. Aloe vera plants also symbolize good luck and are said to bring fortune. 

That’s why some people hang aloe vera plants above the doors of their homes to attract more luck and success. What’s more, since the aloe vera plant has long, sword-like leaves, it is also used as a symbol of protection and healing in many places. 

22. Statice

Statice flower.
The statice flower as a symbol of success
Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Just like stones and colors, different flowers hold various different meanings as well. The statice flower is a beautiful purple flower that is often used in many floral arrangements.

The reason behind this is that these flowers represent success and accomplishment, and therefore, they make the perfect choice of flowers to wish someone good luck with their achievements and life. 

Besides that, the statice flower is also used to symbolize beauty, ever-lasting memories, and sympathy. This is why they can be used for a wide range of occasions. 

23. Peonies

Pink peonies.
Peonies as a symbol of success
Photo by Daria Gordova on Unsplash

A peony is an important flower that holds a significant position in many countries and cultures. Moreover, it is also used to represent success and love. They symbolize wealth, riches, and good luck to help promote success.

Additionally, for those who believe that success lies in a happy relationship, the peony is associated with romance and prosperous relationships as well. 

Final Thoughts

As you must have realized by now, success can come in all shapes and sizes. While some of these symbols of success can certainly be a source of inspiration and motivation to increase the chances of achieving success in your life, there’s more to it than that. 

For some, success can come from a stroke of luck. However, if you truly want to achieve success in your life, you need to put in the hard work and effort to accomplish those goals. 

References:

  1. Symbols of Success. https://www.elliottanzer.com/feng-shui/feng-shui-clinic/symbols-of-success/
  2. 10 Prosperity Symbols in Feng Shui to Invite Abundance. https://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com/feng-shui-tips-advice/10-prosperity-symbols-feng-shui-invite-abundance
  3. Symbols that Bring Success and How to Use Them. https://beckahthepsychic.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/how-to-use-symbols-that-bring-success/
  4. Good Luck Symbols. https://www.ancient-symbols.com/good_luck_symbols.html
  5. Houseplant Symbolism: 9 Beautifully Symbolic Indoor Plants, and Their Meanings. https://www.stylist.co.uk/home/plants/houseplants-symbolism-meaning-indoor-plants-peace-prosperity-happiness-wealth/355608
  6. Plant Symbolism Guide: 31 Plants for Every Personality. https://www.proflowers.com/blog/plant-symbolism-guide/

Header image courtesy: flickr.com / (CC BY 2.0)

Cite this article

The Editors of Give Me History, "23 Important Symbols of Success With Meanings," Give Me History, September 21, 2021, https://www.givemehistory.com/symbols-of-success.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *