Posts tagged ‘success’

April 5, 2014

What is success?

Today, I interviewed a very successful businessman who also happens to be a quadriplegic. When I asked him what the number one thing was that led to his success, he paused for a moment and said, “It was a change in mindset that happened about two years after I lost movement in my body. I started living life like I had a lot less to lose.”

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March 31, 2013

What is success?

 

 

sunset

I remember growing up, hearing a lot of my friends say that they want to be successful in life when they grew up. But as I got older, I realized that everyone’s definition of success varies quite vastly from one person to the next. Some people saw success as owning many sports cars and being a successful business owner. Others saw success as following in the footsteps of someone that they viewed as successful. But what is success?

Now, this is only from what I’ve seen and experienced, but I feel that success is something that is entirely relevant to your situation. You don’t have to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner in order to be a successful person. You don’t have to be the founder of a new technology that will revolutionize the way people live. Yea, that’s totally an awesome goal to reach for, but you can find success in everyday little things as well.

As humans, I feel that we are accustomed to having something more. We are never quite satisfied with where we are at. If we could only have that one object, or know that certain person, everything would be better. But I’ve found out that it doesn’t matter what the ‘next’ thing is, if you’re not satisfied with yourself, then you might miss all of those little things is life that can make even the smallest successes into the greatest achievements.

ladder

In high school, I felt that the greatest success would be if I were to get into the college that I wanted to. But now that I’m in that college, it doesn’t really feel like the success that I had imagined. Now my vision of success is to graduate and get a job. But being in Air Force ROTC really is a blessing in that I don’t have to worry about that. It’s always something more, what can I do more to be more successful. It is a consuming dilemma.

But I realize that success is what you make it. I realize that if I look back one year from today and see the type of person that I was then, if my past self would be proud of the person I am now, that is success for me. If I am a better person now, than I was one year ago, that is something that I am proud of. And what does ‘better’ necessarily mean?

We live in a world with over 7 billion people now. It is very easy to look down on others or be selfish and look out for #1. Very easy. But success for me is knowing that I am just another person, knowing that I can make a difference in the life of someone else. A few summers ago, I went to a camp for disabled children, a volunteer opportunity to serve those that were diagnosed with various debilitating illnesses. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had the opportunity to have. At the end, the camper I took care of was in tears, because he told me that out in the ‘real’ world no one has treated him with the love and care that we were able to provide. And it was definitely a stinger to the heart, because knowing that when he went back to his school others would pick on him (some of his stories were heartbreaking). For these kids, this camp is heaven and knowing that I made a difference in one other person, I saw that as a major success in my life. Knowing that I can be like a large majority of people, looking out for only myself, but I choose not to be. I have the means and the resources to help others, so why keep it all to myself?

Because of that one experience, along with a countless others, I am on my current path now of being that officer in the Air Force. Why, the Air Force? Serving in the military that protects the rights of people like you and me seemed to be the best way I felt that I could give back. Not only that but following the example that my dad put forth, being in the Army was a major contributor to my decision. I don’t know what it was, but there’s just something so gratifying in helping others and putting yourself 2nd to put the needs of those around you.

And that is what success is to me. Knowing that if I’m able to make someone’s life even just a bit more easy at my expense, it was all worth it in the end. It’s not what I can do for myself, or about the amount of money, or the number of people that you know. It’s about knowing that someone did that for me, who didn’t even know me, before I was even born. This one’s to the one that saw the value in my life even before I was born. This one’s to you, Jesus.

From 2009

From 2009

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