I have two teenage children. 13 and 15. Two dogs. A gorgeous wife. A roof over my head. And too many square meals a day, if we are honest.
Someone older and wiser than me asked for the definition of success the other day. The question was designed to provoke thought. To serve as a catalyst for some self reflection.
Was success something I achieved daily, selling houses for my clients? Was success the continual joys and balancing act of family life? Is it the calmness of quality time with the most non-judgmental and unconditionally loyal of animals (obviously not cats)?
I replied to this question about success with a trite truism, “character is fate”, a line I use when people tell me things are “meant to be” and I don’t like what that thing is. How you react to the thing. That is important. That is the mark of your character. You should be determining your own fate as much as is possible.
So it goes with success. The most successful people in life perhaps are those that apply themselves continuously to their goals. This cuts to their character.
Goals can be big and set in Technicolor – I will be the fastest, fittest, richest, most powerful! Or they can be achievable and personal – I will eat well, I will spend more time with my kids, I will exercise regularly.
And yet it is the incremental movement toward these goals, determined by your character, your determination and newly created and observed habits that for me is the real success.
At any point in life, to declare to yourself or the world at large, I want something different and then to actually change your behaviour and move towards that point, that is the definition of success. After that it is just degrees and layers.
** Thanks to Renee Wilkinson for this pic of her beautiful puppy…retic was harmed in this photo.