The True Definition of Success

It is my daughter Andie’s sixth birthday today. Wow – time really does fly. As I was reflecting on her little life – I thought I would share a great lesson she taught me -The True Definition of 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 were all but 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.

The emphasis 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.”


4 Responses

  1. Hi Ty
    I love your perspective! I feel that it comes more readily to those that have achieved and met the basic needs in their lives. I found once our financial needs were met I almost lost my focus. With guidance and reflection I came to the realization that your life becomes truly blessed when your entire focus shifts to helping others.

  2. Thanks for this beautiful, very moving post. Congratulations on your daughter’s 6th B.Day!!!

  3. Loved your article. Yes, I had similar feelings when our son was born. What a precious moment in time. It changes your perspective on life. Thanks for sharing. With much joy, Kucki

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