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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Success by University of Pennsylvania

1,161 ratings

About the Course

Do you want to be more successful? This course was designed to help you define what success means to you, and to develop a plan for achieving it. Wharton Professor G. Richard Shell, an award-winning author and the creator of the popular Wharton School course on the meaning of success, created this course to help you answer the questions that arise when you consider how best to use your life. Drawing on his decades of research and mentoring, Shell offers personalized assessments to help you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths. He then combines these with the latest scientific insights on everything from self-confidence and happiness to relationships and careers. Throughout, he shares inspiring examples of people who found what they were meant to do by embracing their own true measure of success. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime—one that will help you reevaluate your future and envision success on your own terms. Students and executives say that Richard Shell’s courses and executive training programs have changed their lives. Let this course change yours....

Top reviews


Jun 8, 2020

Excellent course gives you the tools and ideas to think deeply about how you define success and set you on a solid path to achieving your greatest professional and personal success possible.


Apr 13, 2023

This course was fantastic! I highly recommended this to everyone. I felt that I have grown due to this course, and I wish it had been required in either my undergraduate or graduate schools.

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26 - 50 of 347 Reviews for Success

By Soren L

Nov 25, 2021

This was a fantastic course and Dr Shell is an excellent professor, offering both academic as well as personal stories to aid in student learning. The assignments really got me thinking about success in a different way. I thought the class would help me define success in a traditional way (money, career, etc), but this wasn't what I was looking for, so I was happy with the course! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in self-exploration, career/self development, and expanding their preconceptions. My Success statement definitely changed through this course and that entirely shifted the course of my actions as far as my priorities, career aspirations, and how I view myself as an important contributor in the world. Best of luck to all!

By Kim S J

Sep 13, 2020

Excellent short course, introducing to the concept of success.

Although I knew that success is largely personal before doing this course, I came out believing this even more. This course has given me the tools to think about success from my own perspective, and I found the assignment on defining my own success to be very useful and reassuring as I live my life according to my own rules.

Some new things I learnt included thinking about the legacy and life I want my daughter to have, thinking about my job using the PERFECT model, the hungry ghost to represent endless hunger for achievement, and that deep happiness comes when you're not chasing it - much like how a butterfly will land on you if you sit still.

By ኢንጅነር አ አ / A A

Oct 13, 2020

After taking this course my view for success has been greatly changed. Specially, though I have a little bit information on it, I was not so much focusing on balancing the inner and outer happiness, i.e. family and work achievements. What greatly impacted me is on how to add value to my existing government job I am currently working so that it can become a meaningful job. I have a great opportunity to learn, get and give more success attributes and values to people on the job I am currently working on. Thank you very much the instructor Richard Shelland University of Pennsylvania

By Elle C

Apr 22, 2020

Loved every part of this course…a ton of insightful material, concepts, exercises, and overall content! Particularly enjoyed and found applicable the Six Lives exercise, SAME Personality Assessment, and reflection/defining Your Personal Success Theory. This course goes deep into examining various aspects of yourself to find the true meaning/theory of what success means to you personally (taking into consideration inner and outer achievements, and definitions of happiness). Professor Shell is very clear, coherent, and well-explained in delivery of this course...thank you!

By Nguyen L Q T

Aug 18, 2019

This course changes my way of approaching to life and success. I now understand that "success" itself is a complex subject and how one measures success is highly personal. There's no simple and universal answer to the question "How to be successful" and we will have to figure it out on our own.

Professor Richard Shell shares us the system, the thinking framework, tools and guidance so we can answer for ourselves what is our definition of success? how to get there? and how to sustain it?

Thank you Professor Richard Shell and Coursera team for a wonderful course!

By Julio C B

May 18, 2018

Excelente! Un curso de gran calidad tanto por su contenido, como por el expositor, quien nos ha guiado con su gran sabiduría tanto personal, como académica a través de varios conceptos, haciendo uso de anécdotas y ejercicios prácticos, lecturas y colaboración entre pares.

Definitivamente lo recomiendo si buscas conocer o adquirir una nueva perspectiva sobre el concepto del "éxito", así como adquirir herramientas que te ayuden a alcanzarlo.

Mi agradecimiento al Profesor Shell y a Wharton por haber creado este magnifico MOOC.

By Ershad K

Aug 17, 2018

The Course was useful in giving me a second look at success with a broad brush were I was presented with case studies , choices based philosophies that determine our concept of success and the success that we think we achieve . This course taught me that , I could look at my life by judging my level of success through the level of internal happiness and not external achievement . I appreciate that immensely . I shall be doing exactly that , and I believe that , everyone should look at the concept of success like that .

By Amity R L

May 6, 2020

This course was very well thought out for someone who desires achievement and happiness in their life.

I found the exercises in this course as a deep way to reflect on my life - relying on my personal history (family, friends and other people who had impact on my), views of the world, and steps I am taking as I move towards the future.

By the end of the course, I was able to give my personal definition of success and practical steps I am taking to achieve it.

By c h

Nov 8, 2017

Professor Richard Shell is an absolute gem. One of those rare people you meet who appears to walk his talk. His Success course is unique among success genres and brings out the best in his students' sometimes very different ideas of success. As a student, you essentially come up with the own version of success at the completion of the course. I would highly recommend anything Prof Shell teaches and writes. Thank you, Richard, for such a great experience!!

By Yasmin A

Jun 23, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It was comprehensive and although I was familiar with much of the material, I found some new items that I thought were thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the exercise of the six lives. I have done a lot of work in positive psychology and am currently writing and presenting on topics related to positive psychology and I was glad to see the concept of "happiness" woven into the theory of success. Great course!

By Nitin J

Apr 13, 2018

The course is really above all other courses as it will lay foundation for all other technical courses.

This course really fertile my inner land...

Concepts like inner & outer success is tremendous....

I was able to get answers from all those questions that I have & that make me feel empty until now...

I really feel accomplished & fulfilled after taking this course.

I just think that my journey of introspection & spiritual world begins from here.

By Antony K

Jul 15, 2017

I'm only through with Week 1 but Richard Shell, the lecturer, is an amazing and wise individual, and I can only expect the rest of the course to be as deep and thought-provoking as the beginning.

It won't teach you the 7 keys to success! What it will teach you, though, is how to look into yourself and determine what success really means to you, and then you can start doing something about it.

Highly recommended for any human being.

By Ivy Z

Jun 23, 2020

Excellent instructor, Professor Shell. He provided deep and honest perspectives and knowledge about success, pulling from his own personal experiences and those of his students. Great content here with thoughtful exercises, suggested reading and class participation, that gets you thinking about how you yourself define success. This course was not was I was expecting, and pleasantly surprised.

By Suzie G

Sep 7, 2017

This course is life-changing. Well structured and presented. You feel like you are in the Professor's office and you have a mentor assisting in your journey. The opportunity to share my own and read other's view of success at the end of the course was so touching. Highly recommend to anyone, especially anyone who is questioning their purpose or going through a significant change process

By Yolanda T

Feb 6, 2019

Before taking this course, I put my complete focus on outer success and define success as how the society defines success. This course has inspired me to redefine what is success. It has helped me to find out my core values, my aptitudes and strengths, and what I truly want to do for my life. Most importantly, it has helped me to balance the outer success with the inner satisfaction.

By Mohammed E

Jul 8, 2018

A great course that allow you to define what success means to you, not by explaining what success is but by letting you define it in your own terms and based on what it really means to you. In my opinion this is one of the fundamental courses everyone can take in order to improve his own reflections about success and work to achieve it in a practical manner. Strongly recommended.

By Priya A M

Oct 30, 2016

Fantastic course. It's very thoughtfully designed and was perfect for the type of reflection needed to evaluate one's life and develop a theory of success. I appreciated Professor Shell's openness to the different ways people might define success. He is definitely not trying to push anyone in a particular direction, but providing resources to figure out your own direction.

By Mishelle J V

Feb 6, 2019

This course is put together by a wise person who found a pearl, polished it, carried in his pocket and it opened doors for him. Now this pearled guiding light has enveloped him to illuminate those who are ready to shut the noise out and if ready to stand still to consult with one's' inner being, these guiding light shall point one's true north.

Thank you professor

By Kate K

May 15, 2020

It is an amazing course by a great professor Richard Shell. Some very deep topics that help redefine what success means exactly for you, what values and motivations drive you from within, and what your personal theory of success is. Recommend this course for all who want to see a broader perspective and insights that will help in professional and personal areas.

By Sharad A

Nov 10, 2019

A truly life changing Course, delivered in a compelling way, that takes you into a journey of discovery. Professor Shell's personal stories are perhaps the best part of the Course. Laden with powerful questions, and many thought-provoking exercises, the mind-shift happens seamlessly, and the learning enormous. An excellent course. Thank you, Professor Shell!

By Jorge S

Feb 24, 2021

What is success? It is a question that we may not ask ourselves very often and we may not have a clear answer. This course delights because it proposes an answer to this question. In the end you will realize that you find success in yourself, it is not very useful to compare with others, because perhaps they do not share the same goals or values as you.

By Hans R

Sep 24, 2020

Professor Shell was brilliant both in his approach to teach and motivate people to work towards their success. The way he described and integrated his own experience into this course made the concept of success more simple to understand and achievable. It is undoubtedly my most favorite course among the ones that form part of the specialization.

By Sulyman M

Apr 18, 2020

I have gained extra experiences here to help me grow It was a motivational and important course for me It has explained to me things I have been looking for in the books of psychology and social psychology Thank you to the university for this opportunity and thank you professor for this valuable and rich information Thank you for your efforts.

By Martin B

Jul 2, 2020

I very much enjoyed this course and reflecting and putting together my own personal success theory was time well spent. I am grateful to Prof. Shell for sharing his wisdom and making this course available online. I would recommend this brilliant course to anyone would who like to explore on a deeper level what personal success means to them.

By Andrea P

Jun 5, 2018

Really good content and self-discovery exercises to help formulate one's personal idea of success as well as tapping into innate gifts and passions to help achieve the vision of life each individual strives to attain. Professor Shell is incredibly likeable and knowledgeable - he shared many perspectives while avoid being harsh or judgmental.