It’s About the Way You Define Success

Ink on Pastel Paper Scrap – Words: Coco Chanel

“They are so successful!” I hear people say this and I wonder how they define success? Is it about money, power, prestige, expensive things, love of a family, powerful friends, some combination of all of this, or something else? I think success though a very public topic is a very personal thing. We each have to define it for ourselves and live a life that supports our own definition of success.

If you’re like me some of my most successful moments have come when I didn’t realize it, wasn’t working towards it, or what I thought was only so-so everyone else thought was fantastic. And like these wise words from Coco Chanel, “Success is often achieved by those who didn’t know that failure was inevitable” – not knowing the inevitability of disaster allows us to venture into areas where no one else dares to tread. We simply do not understand what is going on and that our naive mindset is our best defense. We don’t know we should fail, so we do not even consider that it might happen. We trudge along energetically and succeed.

Everyone knows the ‘historian’, the one who can tell you why it didn’t work last time someone tried it, why it won’t work now, the facts of how it did work when revised and why what you think about trying is doomed to fail. They somehow think it is their duty to keep us informed; once I figure out these people I politely stop listening and move on. I hear what they said but do not internalize it which means it does not impact my thoughts process. It may sound rude, ok, maybe it is…I’m okay with being rude and working towards success rather than being deflated by someone who simply doesn’t want to work at all. Or they don’t want you to succeed at something they dared not attempt.

No matter how you define success, it all depends upon what you think AND how you choose to act on those thoughts. Believe you will fail and you will. Believe that you will succeed and you are half way there. Success requires hard work, consistent decision making and the ability to proceed when everyone else has given up. Do you know how you define success? Maybe today is a good day to think about it, act on it, and leave the nay sayers behind.

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