Thinking I had previously written about this week's topic, success, I spent the better part of the last hour looking for an older post. I did not succeed. So... we pretty much know exactly where this post is going. Oh well.
When you are asked the question, "What is happiness?", or, "What is the meaning of life?", I think we can all agree that the range of acceptable answers is so vast that it's hard to pinpoint what the "correct" answer is. In the same way, success finds itself as a concept that is hard to pin down. Like we might think of happiness as having wealth, power, relationships, or any other number of things, success, too, can be defined as such. It's purely individual, much like happiness and life-meaning. After all, I don't think it's our responsibility to define success for anyone but ourselves.
In an effort to give more substance to this, I Googled "success definition" with the original intention of looking up what the word actually meant. However, defining it kind of defeats the purpose of the previous paragraph and I really don't like backtracking. Instead, I clicked on a link from Business Insider detailing "How 9 Incredibly Successful People Define Success". It was interesting, to say the least. But if you're looking for something a little more relatable, you can finish reading the rest of this blog post, aptly titled, "How 1 Incredibly Lazy Person Defines Success".
Success is progress, through and through. I find that in my own life, I'm often times adverse to using the word to describe serious or important matters because it seems to denote an end of things. You've succeeded: you've accomplished something, or completed something that you were aiming for. For whatever reason, I've heard the word being used in that way. But it leaves a "so what?" feeling for me to use it so casually. So that's why I think success, however relative it may be, must be tied to progress.
To refer back to the article, one entry says that "Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh says success is about living in accordance to your values". Values change, and with that, I think one's definition of success would have to change just as much. While your core values may not deviate much, as we grow older and/or wiser, things are bound to change us one way or another. It also says Maya Angelou believed success was enjoying your work. I think this, too, must tie in with progress. It's one thing to enjoy your work, but it's an entirely different monster to never evolve in your craft. I guess this highlights what I was saying before. You may enjoy your work, but if you never get better, then so what?
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Yes, I ripped that from the article. Bite me.) You may agree or disagree, but for me, I wholeheartedly agree. We aren't made to be stagnant or complacent. Success shouldn't be an end, but a checkpoint in this journey we call life. I guess in the same way, failure is also a mark of progress.
Success and failure go hand-in-hand. At the end of the journey, how you carry yourself through every success and failure will define what breaks first: you or your trials.
...I don't even know how that's relevant. +1 for logic jumps!