Everyone has his or her own idea of how to define success. It could be measured by how much money you make, what kind of house and car you own, how many friends you have, how good of a parent you are, how far you have gotten in your career, how much of a positive impact you’ve made on the world around you, how you have positively impacted and inspired the people around you, and so on. No matter how you define it though, it always feels best when it has been earned, whether it be through hard work, dedication, time committed, good character and integrity, positive attitude, or however else.
Success, for most of us, is not something that comes easily or automatically. It is usually a series of countless small achievements or baby steps in the right direction, or at least mostly in the right direction. There are usually set-backs along the way, but overcoming those makes it feel even better. In fact, Booker T. Washington even said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” I do believe that to be true in many instances because it is through overcoming obstacles that we build character and learn what our strengths are and what we can handle.
Success doesn’t always have to be difficult though, but it often requires focus and determination, belief in ourselves, willingness to fail, a positive attitude, and including others. Not only do we usually have to rely on the help of others in order to achieve success, but it is also important to give back to those who helped us along the way. If our success, whatever it may be, can somehow inspire others to be successful, that’s even better.
Sometimes finding success can be a very slow process, so much so that it doesn’t even seem to be happening. But we need to remember that success can be like a tree. You can see it at any point and time, but you cannot see it grow. It’s important to keep that in mind when it feels like we are not making any progress in the right direction. Slow progress is better than no progress. As long as we continue to take action without giving up, we can continue to achieve success. It never hurts to remind ourselves that even though we might not be where we want to be quite yet, we’re closer than we were the day before. Confucius also said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” Even if we have to take a very round-about way, we will get there eventually.
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