thoughts on success

27 Jun

Over the past few weeks, as I have been setting new goals and challenges for myself as well as nearing the end of previous goals and challenges set for myself and others, I have found myself pondering the definition of success.  Throughout our lives, we look to a variety of figures and sources to help us define success and make ourselves into beings that are goal-driven.  For a stay-at-home mom, she may look to her mother or grandmother to create a definition of a successful and loving mother to her children.  A teenager may look at figures in popular culture, teachers, or coaches to define a successful life.  A businessperson may look to figures such as Donald Trump or Steve Jobs to define a successful career.  But no matter what our minds create and no matter what goals we set, it seems as if we always need to be redefining the meaning of success and achievement.  Just because we do not quite achieve the goal we set for ourselves, does not mean we did not triumph over the task at hand.

If “said person” participates in a 48-hour book challenge, only reads for 20 of those hours, but gets 5 books read, is that success or failure?

If a sales team of “said sportswear company” exceeds their sales goals for the year but only has 81% customer satisfaction, is that success or failure?

If a person starts a new type of diet, doesn’t quite follow it, but still becomes very aware and educated about foods they are eating, is that success or failure?

What are your thoughts on success and failure?

Speaking of challenges and goals, I would like to formally invite any person interested in reading the top children’s books of all time, to join me in my year-long challenge of reading through the books chosen by friends and colleagues of Betsy Bird. Unfortunately, I won’t be starting a new blog specifically for the challenge, but if you would like to formally join, just leave a comment on this post with your email address and I will send out more information and encouragement as we continue on in the challenge.   Good luck to all my readers in their pursuit of success and most importantly, happiness.


Posted by on June 27, 2010 in Children's Books, Married Life


7 responses to “thoughts on success

  1. clbeyer

    June 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Hey. That had to be intentional — talking about success and failure just before inviting me to do something like reading all those children’s books in a year. I want to join you so much, but I’m already fretting that I won’t be able to finish. But if success doesn’t have to be 100% in every area (meeting deadlines, checking off ALL the books), maybe it doesn’t matter? I wouldn’t want to FAIL, you know. 😉

  2. clbeyer

    June 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Okay, okay, I’m officially in. I’ll just be gracious with myself if the rest of my life starts to get in the way. I’m allowing myself as many audio versions of books that I can find. Woohoo! Here we go! (Let me know if you want my email address again.)

  3. Amanda

    July 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Friend! So this thought on success may be very cheesy, but I’ve had this poster on my wall in my room since high school. It’s okay, I just thought I would give you the first thought I have about success because I’ve been looking at it for a while. “Success is not he key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”

    I agree. I think we all have different definitions of success and many of those depend on how much we are pursueing the “American Dream” or else. I think specific goals/tasks are only failures if we fail to learn anything from the experience. There is opportunity for success in everything. It’s funny, I used to be very goal driven, number oriented, etc. Now, well I think it’s a successful day to make somebody smile!

  4. Susan

    July 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I’m in for the challenge! And I think you don’t a new blog etc. for that, we’ll just keep checking in on each other.

  5. sharon

    July 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Okay, I’m in. I’m going to try and do this with audiobooks. I will do my best to read all 100 books in 52 weeks — yikes — but may not. If my work reading allows for it I can probably have 2 titles going at once: listening and reading are different skills.

    I may skip over a book if I’ve read it, depending on what I have to read for work. Thanks for doing this.

  6. Brita

    July 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I was thinking about assigning the list to myself and came across the link from Fuse #8 to your blog. I’m pretty excited about the possibility of embarking on the challenge, but can’t figure out how I want to chronicle it. Suggestions?


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