What is success? If you are at your lowest with no job and no hope and someone offers you work, and you accept it and start working hard with gratitude that is success. If your goal is - I will be CEO in a week; that is beyond unrealistic. It’s insanity.
But, having people around you who help you see where your hard work paid off and what steps you took to get there and some helpful pointers is success too.
Our daughter had a successful first state fair. She walked away with three ribbons. Her showmanship is better than ever and her hard work paid off. To someone on the outside they might say she wasn’t successful at all. She didn’t win a trophy or a banner or a buckle. But if you are following a growth chart she continues to make steady progress upward.
I was raised to believe - “get rich quick. Why bother if you aren’t going to be the best.” Its too hard. What’s the point? It’s not worth it. Find the excuse. They are just better.
But it was wrong.
Steady progress. Obstacles and setbacks happen to everyone. It’s keeping going. It is slow, and sometimes painful. It looks different for everyone.
I once heard someone say only 1% ever get to the starting line. I thought that was ridiculous until I tried to run a half marathon and booked my room and was mentally and physically ready and then got sick. It’s been years on my recovery. I never got to the starting line.
Watching our daughter learn slow and steady, learn to work for it, learn what success looks like may be one of the greatest gifts I can offer her.
Success doesn’t come cheap. It will cost you time, mentally and emotionally strain you and it won’t happen overnight. She asked me what if I win a buckle. I said our goal is to not be last this year.
How often do you overshoot, not prepare or take something for granted. “Ah it’s never going to work, why bother?”
You can take that road. And I admit once in a while I can have that moment.
Thankfully I rise out of it. I have people who surround me with honest caring feedback.
Slow and steady wins the race.
If you are showing up for whatever that work or dream is, that’s the first step. Having people who are further ahead guiding you is another step. People to support you. And I truly believe people see the hard work and want to support that.
Maybe the secrets to success are manageable goals, finding a good team, and seeing the success hidden in what can look like a loss.
What I saw at the state fair was every child that walked into that ring won. I saw every child had a team. And I hope everyone walked away seeing their progress and they were one step closer to their dream.
Even if it all fell apart, they tried.
From Teddy Roosevelt’s great speech that I have probably quoted before, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
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