Thursday, February 12, 2009

Defining Your Success: Part 1

In a previous post entitled "Lessons from my Life Coach", I made the following statement in my closing remarks:

"Each of us is entitled to being wildly happy, having vibrant health, fostering good relationships, being wealthy and successful as defined on our own terms,..."

At the time I wrote that piece, I was reflecting on the idea of success and what that really means. By definition, success is:

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors;
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like;
3. a successful performance or achievement;
4. a person or thing that is successful;
5. Obsolete.

But, who decides what is 'favorable'? How much wealth is enough? How many honors must one attain? When does one's success become obsolete? Does every aspect of one's life have to be successful before he/she can call him/herself successful? What I deduced is that success is relative to one's own definition of it. The question that every individual should consider is, "Did I achieve what I set out to accomplish within the scope of my goals/vision?" Success can be measured in many different ways and by many different criteria. Because success is relative to the individual, he or she should never gauge it by anyone else's standards.

In subsequent posts, I will elaborate on this concept. Until then, I'll leave you with some notable quotes made by people who have been regarded as successful in their fields of endeavor. My hope is that you will think over this and either formulate or expand your own definition of successful living. I will do the same.

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." -Albert Einstein

"I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time." - Herbert Bayard Swope (1882 - 1958)

"If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all." -Anna Quindlen (1953 - )

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." -Maya Angelou (1928 - )

"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much." -Bessie A. Stanley

"The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary." -Vidal Sassoon

"Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things." -T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." -Colin Powell (1937 - )

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." -Booker T. Washington (1856 - 1915)

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." -Arthur Ashe

"Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka (1939 - )

"The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning." -Oprah Winfrey (1954 - ), O Magazine, September 2002

"I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate." -George Burns (1896 - 1996)

Be good to yourself! More next time...

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