Saturday, 27 June 2009

What is success?

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, June 27, 2009 with 1 comment
I have often posted about success. Here is another general definition: success is doing the best you can with what you have where you are.

IF we don't define success, then by default, we let our culture define success for us. And all too often it boils down to this: whoever has the most toys at the end of the game wins.

We all have lots of goals and big dreams. The generation I am part of sees usually success in terms of personal gain, or if beyond personal, at the most, family. The emphasis is on, why should I do that, what is in it for me?

Doing the best shouldn’t just be the best for me, but the best for my school, my workplace, my neighbourhood, my peer group and beyond.

With what I have should include the resources that I can access but also the resources others can access: what’s in my hand and what’s in others’ hands; my gifts and talents in connection with others’ gifts and talents, both similar and complementary

Where you are being not only my circumstances but also the circumstances of those around me.

In deciding our personal definitions of success, we should look beyond ourselves to the communities, and generations, around us.

That’s my latest take on success…

Gold medals?
Since this is a running blog, here is one of the most successful runners of all time, writing on what is success?
I have been asked what my idea of success is. It’s such a difficult question to answer because it depends where you are in your life. When you are a baby, success is getting everything that comes near you into your mouth. A little later it might be getting the toy that you have wanted for your birthday. And then it can be getting into the sport team at school and later getting the girl that appeals to you to recognise that you exist and then take an interest in you. As life goes on you want the car, house and then a wife and family. So far all of these interests and goals have been self focussed. What I want for me. Even the family is tightly focussed. Your life is pretty well absorbed striving for happiness, well being and success for your spouse and kids.
Then the kids grow up and leave you. Up to this time in your life you are very close to totally financially broke. But after a few years without the kids you start to get a bit in front. The mortgage is gone and there is enough money to buy a few things and go on hols to places you have read about in magazines. It’s about this time that your idea of success can go through a very radical change.
A change from self focus to something much bigger. A change to community focus. You have become aware that you are more than half way through your life and questions start to come to mind about what good you are going to leave behind you in the world? What is going to be your contribution? It’s almost like emerging from a bunker and looking around and seeing to every horizon thousands of community matters that scream for help. All of a sudden instead of looking for someone else to do it, you start to accept challenge and responsibility for issues in the community around you.
This to my mind is part of the path to maturity.
- Olympic Gold Medallist Herb Elliot

1 comment:

  1. Success is being a fast, thin runner - thus avoiding becoming wild dog food!