Success, a word that one hears about often. However, one person’s definition of success can vary greatly from someone else’s. How do you measure success? How do you know when you have arrived at what people label success?
I am currently writing this post while on a plane for a business trip. This morning, as I was waiting to board, I recalled a conversation that I had with my son last night. Since I would be away for 3 days, I was going through a list of things I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t forget to do. Then after he told me that he would miss me, he emphasized how proud he was of his successful Mom. He is only 10, so I imagine that part of what he feels is success is that I get to travel for work. It did get me thinking of what success means to me and others.
Difficult to define because every one of us has different priorities, different perceptions and different values. Ask 10 people what their definition of success is and you might get 10 different answers.
For some, success is measured in monetary terms; the big house, luxury car, frequent vacations or a certain amount in the bank. For others, success might be about having a loving and supportive family. While still to others, it is that huge job title that they have always wanted.
In my belief, success is not about an end result, the Win, the prize or the monetary trophy. Personal success is about working your hardest to become your best. Although, I love to win, my greatest motivation comes from when I look back and see the effort I put in achieving a result. It comes from looking back at where I started and realizing the personal growth I achieved along the journey.
“There were many, many games that gave me as much pleasure as any of the ten national championship games we won, simply because we prepared fully and played near our highest level of ability.” – John Wooden
Success is about the learning journey and striving to do your best in whichever area of life is your priority. When I arrive home and my husband asks me how my day was, if I feel like I succeeded in accomplishing my priorities for that day, that I successfully planted seeds that I know will grow, I feel I had a successful day. To be successful, I apply that thought to all areas that matter: my family, my career, my spirituality. I tend to find where I apply the most effort and grow the most, I receive the biggest rewards.
The phrase, “Success is a journey, not a destination” is something that I believe in wholeheartedly. Work hard in the areas of your life you feel are important. Be open to personal growth and make it a priority. You will find yourself enjoying the journey in the process.
The only person who can define whether or not you are successful is you. Start by defining your own success and determining how you will know when you have achieved it. Do not let others’ definitions of success determine yours and do not project your definition of success onto others.
What does success mean to you?