Success comes in all shapes and sizes. The shape and size of your success may be different than one I define.
You can read a book or three about how to become a success. You might attend several conferences, buy several DVD home study courses or even pay for the services of a life coach.
But ultimately, the potential for your success rests on your shoulders. And how you define your success is fundamentally up to you.
I’ve also discovered something no one ever told me.
Success is fluid.
It isn’t stable. Yes, it’s a journey, but no, you never arrive.
Success, however you define it, is achieved during the journey and your definition of what IS success will be fluid and change throughout life.
What you once thought of as a success when you were 20 may be completely different by the time you’re 40, and change again by the time you’re 70.
What Do You Do To Define Your Success?
Success happens in the moment but what you celebrate as success could more often be defined as mastery.
When you master a talent or craft . . . when you become the big fish in your pond . . . you’ve mastered a task or function, you ‘feel’ successful, when in fact you are experiencing mastery.
However, you can’t consistently be the master. Learning is a journey. Life is a journey.
You aren’t born being the best mom you could be. You didn’t start your first job as the CEO of the company. You weren’t the star basketball player on your team the first time you stepped on the court.
In other words, neither you nor anyone else was born successful. You have to work for it.
From the outside, it may appear that others have it easier than you do. But, you don’t know their struggles and challenges. And, while their challenges are different from yours, they still have obstacles they must overcome to achieve what they define as success.
Success is Driven by Failure
Not everything you do will be successful. However, by the same token, not everything is a failure.
In fact there are very few things you do that are totally one thing or the other. Each accomplishment has an element of failure and every time you fall down there is an element of success.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn from the failures and to find those kernels of success in everything you do.
Whether you want to be a successful author, entrepreneur, mother, missionary, business owner, or dog trainer . . . it’s important you learn from your failures and celebrate your successes no matter where you find them.
Dictionary.com defines success as the attainment of your goals, accomplishments or attaining wealth.
In order to reach those goals, you must find the successful moments in times of frustration or inadequacy. Maybe the training session with your dog went miserably, but you can find success in understanding why, so you don’t repeat the mistakes.
Every time you stumble as a mom, you have the potential to learn something very important about yourself and your children.
But. . . too often we hide inside PRIDE.
TV moms are either screaming and abusive, or have an abnormal amount of patience. We aspire to be the second and sometimes end up acting like the first.
The hard part comes when you have to humble yourself before your children and yourself to admit that you did something wrong. You must first admit you aren’t right all the time before you can learn from the mistakes and do a better job the next time.
The same is true in business.
Before 2008 my business was flying along. At the current rate of growth I could expect to break 100K in the following year.
And then the recession hit. My business bottomed out at the same time that I took a huge emotional hit.
Instead of doing what was necessary, I buried myself in feelings of inadequacy and failure. It was a very difficult time . . . financially, emotionally, relationally and every other way you can think of.
It took longer than I wanted but eventually I learned to look at what happened, learn from my mistakes and move on.
How I define success will be different from how you define it. What I celebrate will be different from what you celebrate.
But the journey to achieving success and mastery is paved with persistence, dedication, insight and a humble attitude. You must look at your failures square in the face and take responsibility for your part in the achievement – or lack thereof.
I didn’t and paid a high price for years. It wasn’t until I could look at the why and make changes to the way I was doing things did I begin to experience greater business success.
It wasn’t until I could hear and incorporate the constructive criticism of my family did I become a better parent.
And, it wasn’t until I could admit that my ex-husband was treating me inappropriately could I understand that it was time to move on.
My definition of success has changed along the way. The dreams I had as a young woman are completely different than the ones I have today.
How I define it might be different, but how I arrive will be the same.