The path to success
Success means very different things to different people as it all depends on what lens you’re looking through and what you personally define as important. For some, success revolves around work – getting that promotion, receiving a sought after pay-rise or hitting all deadlines on a key project. For others, it revolves around sports and their hobbies – setting PBs, tackling a new course, scoring the match winning goal or their team taking out the league. Many others define success at a more personal level – achieving work-life balance, a harmonious & happy marriage, or studying and acing something new.
These quotes from Business Leaders answering “What Success Means To You” shows the diversity of how people perceive their own success:
“Success is a moving target. I don’t think we ever achieve “it”, at least in our own minds. But I do know this, if you think you have achieved your greatest success you clearly have decided to stop pushing yourself.”
– Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
“Success to me means creating and maintaining balance in my life. It’s important to work hard and accomplish your goals, but it’s critical to remember to take care of yourself – exercise, eat well, spend time with friends, family, and loved ones. A balanced mind is a smart mind!”
– Monique Peltz, Marketing Coordinator
“Success is delegating and paying others to do all the stuff I’ve been doing myself for 10 years so I can enjoy the creative side of my business, family and life more! Success is moving away from the $20 an hour jobs and focusing on the $250 hr jobs!”
– Mary Murphy, President/Chief Creator, Hooray for Books
One thing that does seem to define people and their success is often their ability to ‘never give up’. I personally believe successful people, as demonstrated above, often have the added traits of being persistent, grateful, tenacious and realistic. Having these traits enables them to feel success, where others without a bit of balance or realism perhaps might not. Jason Zasky, Editor and co-founder of Failure magazine, sums it up nicely:
“Success is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers a success might be an abject failure to someone else. Success is defined by one’s expectations.”
Whatever type of success you personally are striving for, the chart at the top of this post by Demetri Martin is pretty true to life! Every person comes across the unexpected and unplanned on their personal road to success and will enter uncharted territory, especially when it comes to striving for big goals.
Feeling a bit of a failure?
We’ll you’re in pretty good company, all of these people “failed” before going on to achieve big things:
- Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by over 20 different publishers.
- Marilyn Monroe’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress.
- Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’.
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he ‘lacked imagination & had no good ideas’.
- Albert Einstein didn’t speak until age 4 and didn’t read until age 7. His teachers labelled him both ‘slow’ and ‘mentally handicapped’.
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on-screen.
- In Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the judges wrote: ‘Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little’.
- Henry Ford’s first auto company went broke, he abandoned his second because of a fight and a third suffered from declining sales & went downhill.
For me personally, I’m still exploring what will make this year as a success for me.
While I’m still working through that, I’d love to hear – What did your path to success look like for 2013? How is success defined for you in 2014?