Monday, November 2, 2009

The Search for "Success"

Starting the Search

The title of this blog is “The Definition of Success” and it is meant as a thought-provoking search for the true meaning of success, how to measure it and how to attain it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about success and a quick search of Twitter found many other people are thinking about it too. I’m not talking about the tweets promising “The Ten Secrets to Success in Business” or “How to Successfully Lose Weight” or “Measuring Success in Social Media.” I am interested in true success that comes with happiness, leads to contentment, makes life worth living.

As I do my own philosophical search for the definition of success I hope others will join in and share their thoughts and feelings. Let’s face it, fear and feelings of failure overwhelm right now. The economy sucks. Many of us are struggling with unemployment, rising bills, declining health and many other negatives in our lives. But maybe, collaboratively, we can find the inspiration to believe better times are just around the corner and that success isn’t just measured in prosperity and wealth.

My "Unsuccessful" Dad

On his death bed, my dad apologized to me and my family for not being a success. He was right, and so very wrong at the same time. Dad was on the path to success in business. He worked at a bank and moved up the ranks. He finally got his big break when I was in second grade. He was offered the position of vice president at a bank in a small city outside Portland, Oregon. As V.P., he would be groomed to take over for the president when that man retired in a few years. Sounds like a success, doesn’t it? But a year in, the bank was bought out and Dad found himself unemployed with a wife and five kids. Dad tried to find work, tried to find a successful career but it eluded him. Dad felt that he was a failure. He was NOT. He may not have found success in the business world again, but he was an awesome dad. We told him about the pride we all felt. He was a loving father, a good man, an authentic person. He was a success as a human being and a success in our eyes!

Open Your Eyes To Success

Look around. How do you measure your success? Do you have family and friends who love you? Even if more money goes out than comes in, are you still able to live, breath and love? Can you help a friend who is feeling down with a few encouraging words? Can you give a family member a hug? Can you make a stranger smile? Please share your thoughts in the “comments” area. I plan to update this blog at least once a week.

Here are a few tweets about success that may lead to inspiration:
  • In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. -Bill Cosby
  • If you can’t find the key to success, pick the lock. -Unknown
  • Belief is a part of success, action is the other. -Unknown
  • The biggest barrier to success is the fear of failure. -Unknown