Measure of Success

Photo by Guduru Ajay bhargav on

At times I think about my life adventures and wonder have I succeeded. I am not monetary wealthy, or famous, or recorded in history for some great deed or discovery.

I looked up in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1973 the definition of success:

1. Outcome, Results

The first definition does not define or describe success very clearly. If the outcome and results are what you wanted then you would have success. So I read on, definition number 2:

2. A favorable termination of a venture.

The second definition is a clearer description. This definition can also be trap. The trap of if things do not turn out the way I wanted, then it is a failure, and not a success. I do not believe that is true. There are several ventures or goals I have set and did not get the results I was desiring, but were not necessarily a failure.

I think how we determine a favorable outcome of our venture determines our success. When I was in high school and a few years after, I wanted to become a veterinarian. I married, had a child, then was divorced. Working and parenting took up all my time as a single parent. I could not go to college, but I wanted to. During those years I was surviving. Almost two decades later I was able to attend college, I had remarried, had three more children who were in school, and I decided to become a school teacher. Finally I was attending college working towards a degree. Then life happened again, I was getting divorced, single parent with two teenagers at home, not enough hours in the day to finish college with a bachelors degree to teach. BUT, I did graduate with two associate degrees: associates of liberal arts (the planned degree) and associates of science (surprise degree). One of my happiest memories was graduation and seeing how proud my children were about me graduating.

Some may consider this to be a failure as I did not graduate with a bachelors degree for teaching. I consider it a success: I attended college, worked hard and GRADUATED. My degrees have opened doors for employment and a better wage than minimum wage. My attending college and doing homework with my young children when they were doing homework, has given them the desire to strive for a college education. All my children have attended college, three have graduated and one is still working on their degree. My small success has inspired their success. When they graduated I was happy and proud of their accomplishments as they were of mine.

I do not believe success can be measured by the bank account, assets or the size of house we live in. I believe the measure of success is the happiness we receive with ourselves at what we have done. You are successful in life when you are happy with your life. I know some very wealthy people who are not happy. They are on a constant search to find happiness in some activity. Others who do not have much of anything are some of the happiest people I know.

It is the things we accomplish that bring us success.



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