Success is...

Like many other times in my life, lately I have been showered with messages about a single topic in books, conversations, and even videos on facebook. All that information has forced me to evaluate my definition of success. When do we know we have achieved something of relevance? When do we feel satisfied? When do we feel we are at the summit and are ready to pat ourselves on the back? After a lot of deliberation I have come to the conclusion that; at least for me; success has to hold all of these characteristics in order to earn its name:

  1. Using the experience and knowledge harvested on past "failures" to go farther than where we were when we previously fell.

  2. Having reached a point when we know we need to keep the wheel turning, that even when we passed "GO" and collected our $200 we still need to keep moving. In other words, when we find that the "arrival" is a moving target.

  3. Arriving to a place that in the past we only dreamt of going, and we see that the path was paved with not only hard but especially constant work.

  4. Acknowledging that success can be painted in many different colors and that the closer we are, the clearer it becomes that we might need to redefine it with each passing step.

  5. When at night, alone with our thoughts, when there are not eyes to see what we have done or hands to applaud our efforts, we feel a fire inside of our chest and a satisfaction that can only been forged by doing what we really love and what we are passionate about.

  6. When we reach that “Aha!” moment when we discover that walking a determined path is our only way to remain "alive".

I have come to realize that success cannot be measured by numbers, and that what others will acknowledge as great achievements mean nothing if they are not aligned with our burning passions. It does not matter if it is an academic or professional triumph, or the fulfillment of a relationship or even a desired weight loss; the level of the success is measured by the way it connects with our heart. And for that, there are no relevant diplomas, promotions or awards. The true reward is in our fulfilled hearts; the rest, is quite irrelevant.


originally written 10/26/15