Success. This is a word that is often talked about, strived for, and thought about on everyone’s mind at least at some point in our lives. You might even find yourself asking from time to time, “Am I successful at what I do?” Or more simply put, “Am I a success?”
I know, as an athlete, a coach, a business owner, a wife, etc., this word is something I use in my everyday life on some level and have written about as a writer many times (my first book, No One Succeeds Alone, has it in the title for goodness sake).
Yet, what does success really mean to you? Or, have you even thought about it?
In my own quest in studying success for a living, I believe that success is a journey. I once read online that life success came down to different variations of the word throughout the entire life span of a human being. Here is what the report was for this person (source unknown):
“At age four, success is not peeing in my pants.
At age twelve, success is having friends.
At age seventeen, success is having a driver’s license.
At age thirty-five, success is having money.
At age fifty, success is having money.
At age seventy, success is having a driver’s license.
At age seventy-five success is having friends.
At age eighty, success is not peeing in your pants.”
Over my thirty-one years on this earth, the meaning of success has changed for me a lot (not quite as humorous as the message above), and I am sure it has changed a lot for you, too.
Success for me initially in life was growing up on the farm in Iowa and getting all my chores done every day, as well as getting to school every day—I never wanted to miss a day of school. Then success in high school was measured by whether or not I was one of the top five starters on the girls basketball team or if I graduated in the top 10 percent.
Roughly the same measurement for success came for college, only then my success came in paying for all my own expenses from eighteen years old and on, getting a four-mile run in every day, and graduating at the top of my Communications department class.
Then, in my twenties, success was all about finishing marathons and Ironman triathlons at the top of my age group. It was about making money and traveling the world, seeing the sights and adding to my picture books. Having as many friends I could keep in touch with.
Now, in my thirties, I find success is so much simpler than all the accomplishments I had the first twenty-nine years. It’s about being the best wife I can be, as well as preparing to be the best mommy I can be. It’s about being the best coach I can be and helping/serving the most people I can. It’s about hoping my mom can get into the best group home to take care of her health and that my family can all have great health. It’s about talking to God every day and making sure I don’t get too far ahead of myself on my success-filled journey.
Success is less about me and more about the ones I love.
Think about your life for a moment—similarly to the unknown person in the message above and my own comparisons—and pick out your top areas of success. Or perhaps, the keys to your success. Maybe just choose three areas of your life, or, if you so wish, go on the entire journey. You might be surprised what you find, especially if you have never done this exercise before.
It can be very motivating and thought provoking. You might remember the athlete you were in high school and want to return to a sport again now, or maybe you already are through running or fitness. You might remember the musician you were, or still are, and pull out that guitar or instrument and brush the dust off and play a tune.
Maybe you remember that you haven’t talked to that grandparent or family member in a while and want to see how they are doing, so you will give them a call or even visit them. Or maybe you’ll desire to take some time for yourself and do something for you because you realize that you haven’t done that for a while.
I believe success is a mindset and if you would like some help in thinking more about your success in this life and doing something more than just thinking about it, let me recommend one of the best books I have ever read on success: University of Success by Og Mandino. Whether you are looking for inspiration in business, health, relationships, or life in general, this book is a good one for all of that and more.
I wish you well on your transformational success journey. I believe that success is a journey and not a destination. Where you find yourself on the journey, as long as you are consciously aware of it anyway, may transform you in some way—mind, body, and/or Spirit. I encourage you to enjoy the success-filled journey of your life in whatever ways possible!
Yours in Transformational Success,
Lois Tiedemann Koffi