How Do You Define Success?

To the world success means money, power, or fame. The dictionary even defines it as the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. That is the way that I defined it for most of my life. To me, success always had a lot to do with the house I lived in, the car I drove and the clothes I wore.

Then a few years ago, I began to understand a new definition of success.
On April 4th 2006 my daughter Andie was born. She was our first child and like all first time parents the anticipation, anxiety, and excitement was unbearable. The whole day seemed rushed and hectic as we experienced so much that was unknown. But once Andie was born and we were back in our room, life calmed down, our world got very quiet, and we started to take in our beautiful baby.

As I sat and held Andie in our room, my wife Sarah fell asleep, and I was alone for the first time with my perfect little girl. I started to imagine her life, seeing all of the good she had in front of her as she grew and developed. I hoped and prayed for nothing but the best, but as I pictured her life my definition of success changed. I didn’t picture the car she would drive, the house she would live in, or the clothes she would wear. Instead, I thought about how happy she would be, the good she would do, and the person she would become. Looking at this little girl with her whole life ahead of her, I realized that success is not about external things. Money, power, and fame are results: byproducts that come from who you are. The true definition of success is:

To Become the Person You Are Capable of Becoming.

When you change yourself, you change the world. Wealth, power, fame, and happiness then come as a result. The emphasis though is on becoming, not on obtaining. Each of us has unlimited potential and it is the pursuit of that potential that is true success. My favorite quote says, “The greatest loss in life is the difference between human potential and actual performance.”

Good luck on your journey!


5 Responses

  1. Love this story. It never fails to give me tingles & really appreciate the best things life has to offer. 🙂

  2. As my world as I have know it has fallen apart I really needed to read that. I cried cried cried when I read it because I know that I will be happy once again and the success he is chasing he will never find. Thanks

  3. This is such a nice and timely story. For the past few weeks I have been in stressful stage of my life because I felt unaccomplished at the age of 29. True enough, success cannot be defined by what you have but by what you’ve become.

  4. A great defination on what is success, give me another insights! Never in my life come across this phrase, thanks!

  5. Thanks for a great article! It makes you think about not only what you want out of life but also want you want to give to life. External success equals nothing without internal success; we see evidence of that every day in our world. Sharing such an amazing event in your life as the moment that redefined success for you makes it easier for all of us to understand and put it into perspective. Thank you so much for sharing!

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