You say you want success-- and I’m sure you do-- but have you figured out exactly what success is? Look up the word “success” in the dictionary and you’ll find a definition along the lines of “a favourable result”. Well, it is certainly that. But that’s not specific enough; success is much more than just a favourable result. It’s either a particular favourable result or the culmination of a whole series of favourable results.
Success is difficult to define because it means different things to different people. It even means different things to the same people at different times. It’s also important to remember that success is not a static condition. It sometimes exists for a very long time, such as in a successful relationship, or it may last for only an instant, such as scoring the game-winning goal. Success can, and should, be found everywhere: at home, at work, at play, at school, and in personal relationships. The opportunity to achieve success is everywhere and everyone can achieve success--provided it’s defined in reasonable terms and sought after with the right mental attitude. To be a successful gardener you not only have to love flowers but you also have to hate weeds.
Some people equate success with happiness. Yes, that’s certainly an important measure. If you’re happy you’re certainly successful. But what’s often overlooked is that it’s a lot easier to be successful when you’re happy doing what you do. If you’re not happy in your work, in order to enhance your chance for success you’re going to have to change what you’re doing, change where you’re doing it, or change your attitude. It’s the last point, changing your attitude, that’s often overlooked.
How many times have you seen people change jobs because they were unhappy only to wind up being unhappy again but just in a different place? That person needs to remember what Abraham Lincoln said about happiness. Honest Abe said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”.
Success comes from you doing your absolute best, which is something only you can determine and control. We can sometimes fool other people, but we can never fool ourselves. To be successful you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen; you have to make them happen. Another common misconception about the definition of success is that it’s about doing better than other people. This is wrong-headed; those other people might be failing. So never measure your success by comparing yourself with others. Compare yourself only against your own potential.
Success has been described in many different ways. Some wise person, with a good handle on what success really is, wrote that success wasn’t any particular place, but rather the distance you travelled to get there. It’s a far better measure of success to consider the distance travelled and the obstacles overcome, than where you happen to be at any particular time.
Other definitions of success include:
-Dealing successfully with a particular problem
-Being able to tolerate insecurity
-Accomplishing something you were determined to do rather than destined to do
-Doing today what someone else is planning to do tomorrow.
-Knowing at the end of your day that you did the very best that you could.
Although it can, success rarely consists of one major achievement. Success will usually consist of continually reaching a series of reasonable and practical goals--goals which might be spread over a period of years in great undertakings, but it will also consist of many minor successes along the way—ones that might occur in a single week, day, hour or minute. For example, take the aspiring youth for whom becoming a professional athlete may be the long-term measure of success. But along the way there will be many minor successes: The game winning home run, the overtime goal, moving up through the minor leagues, an injury-free season, and, being drafted by a major-league team would all count as successes.
For the busy employee success might simply mean ending the workday with fewer items on the to-do list than there were at the beginning.
Find your own definitions and shoot for them. And always remember that a setback isn’t a failure unless you quit.