I will admit – I am a goal junkie. It’s borderline problematic as I am a bit too enthusiastic about creating outcomes I can measure, and sigh…. picking a deadline that inspires me to rattle and roll.
It’s taken me the better part of my life (4.5 decades in exactly 3 days) to realize; however, that achievement and success are the best of friends but they are from different families of origin. In fact, much like you can live a fulfilled life during long absences from your best friend, so can success when achievement is on an Alaskan Cruise. And yes… I know that achievement cannot actually board a cruise ship but this sounds much more elegant than saying “when achievement succumbs to failure’s sword.”
Imagine a day of complete and utter failure. Every goal missed. Every attempt thwarted. Can you count this one as a success?
I believe yes, if you have appropriately tuned your definition of success.
To me, success lives at the intersection of authenticity, purpose, and contribution. It’s the YES! when I can audit my outcome and know that I made a meaningful impact to the vision by stretching myself, challenging the status quo, and giving the best I have to offer without compromising my spirit.
And “tuning” your success radar is more than pretty descriptive words that intellectualize the concept. It requires that we drop this definition into our heart and soul; feeling it deeply. That we are inspired by the intent & fulfilled by the effort. If these two conditions exist, the outcome is whipped cream and a cherry.
I am not excusing poor results. I am simply suggesting that there is more to success than results. If we have truly aligned our efforts with our passion and talent, the results come. However, we are successful because we lived & worked from a place of authenticity, courageous effort, and a willingness to try again even when facing the sword of failure.
PS… In a world that launches fireworks for first place and gives everyone a snow cone win or lose, taking time to teach our children the true definition of success has never been more important.