If there’s ever been a topic that’s experienced overkill, this would be one of them. All you have to do is make a trip to your local Chapters store and wander down the self-help aisle to see hundreds of books telling you how to achieve success. I’d like to know how many of the authors of those books actually practice what they preach. It’s easy to come up with a theory and promote it as the new flavor of the month because it all looks good on paper, right? The thing is, most theories only work under ideal conditions.

I think a lot of us have lost sight of what success really is. In our performance oriented world, we are brainwashed to view success as promotions, raises, and all the perks that come with it. On the home front, success means having a family, a nice home and a lot of toys. Well, I can tell you that there are a lot of unhappy people with great jobs, mega-buck salaries, and great houses with three BMWs in the driveway. There’s something missing.

I know a man – the CEO of a large national corporation – who appears to be successful. Certainly, he has reached a level of success in his career. He earns more money in annual salary and bonuses than he can spend. He has a lovely home in the city and another vacation home in Florida that he seldom visits because he doesn’t have time. His wise investments have ensured that his retirement income will maintain his current lifestyle. He’s accumulated all of this for what? The man is single – never married – because in his quest to be a big shot, he forgot to take time to develop relationships. He is an only child and he has no living relatives. He has no close friends, no hobbies, and his evenings are spent working because he has nothing else to do. He’s a social misfit and can’t carry on normal conversation if his life depended on it. I ask you, is this success? Nope. Not in my opinion.

The measure of success is not monetary. It’s not a collection of possessions. And it’s not a higher rung on the corporate ladder.

Success is having people close to you – people who know all about you and love you anyway. Success is a roof over your head that may not be a show piece, but it’s comfortable and you can afford it. Success is having that cake finally turn out – you know, the recipe you’ve been trying to perfect for 6 years. Success is your grandson having a revelation that doing his business in the toilet is way better than doing it in his pants.



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2 responses to “Success

  1. Can I hear an AMEN? You have hit it right on the proverbial head, Wendy. This is a wonderful post (although you have me wondering who this CEO is). I could add a few of my own definitions of success:* Success is living your life authentically;* Success is pursuing creativity with passion; * Success is all the little victories that cost nothing;* Success is filling your life with meaning;* Success is feeling real and true love.* Success is having your health.I could go on, but you get the idea. Thank you so much for this post. As I'm about to begin my writing day, reading this beforehand has made me feel so successful. I didn't earn a dime last year, and I spend far less money now than I ever did when I earned an impressive salary, yet I've never felt more successful.

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