This is such an elusive term to define. Sure we can look to a dictionary to define the actual word. (See next.)
success |səkˈses|nounthe accomplishment of an aim or purpose : the president had some success in restoring confidence.• the attainment of popularity or profit : the success of his play.• a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity : I must make a success of my business.• archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims : the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin successus, from the verbsuccedere ‘come close after’ (see succeed ).
But how do you define success?
This term, I’m taking a business ethics class. Just before the Christmas break we watched a recording of a visit by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to the business school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During this visit, students from the various degree programs in the school of business had the opportunity to ask these two gentlemen a variety of questions. The very last question had to do with how they measured and defined their success. Warren Buffett said something that has stuck with me
It goes to the effect of, “You have lived a successful life if later in life the people you hoped would love you, do.”
Now, that’s a rough quote. I’m sure I’ve butchered it. But the sentiment remains the same. We get so caught up (I know I do) in comparing our journey to others’. “She’s married, I’m not.” “She just got a book deal, I’m stuck in revision-mode (or first draft mode or whatever).” “That person just got an agent.” “I’m still going to school and that person’s off in a wildly successful career.”
At this time of year, as we go about closing the door on one year and opening the window to the next, setting resolutions, goals, etc, let’s all try to remember that true success comes in many different forms.