The Definition of Success
- July 17, 2012
Over the next few months, I will share some thoughts with you about success and what it takes to succeed. We’ll talk about things like curiosity, tenacity, resilience, and patience. But to begin, we need to first talk about what success is. To start, I’d like to share a story that led me to a better understanding of how I view success.
You never know where you’ll learn something particularly meaningful. I had just found out that my son had fallen off a cliff in the south of Spain in a mountain biking accident. All I knew was that he was in a hospital where he’d already been for a couple of days and, if I left “right now,” I could catch the last plane of the day that would get me there. I stopped home to get my passport and pack a carry-on. I drove straight to the airport with a plan that I would call my wife when I landed to find out the game plan. I landed in Spain and learned that my son was now at the hotel. When I got to the hotel, my son greeted me in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis, collarbone, and ribs. He wasn’t going anywhere for a few days; we had to wait until he was healthy enough to travel.
“I guess we’re going to make the most of this time together.” Josh was on a trip for young adults and on the agenda for this trip included a talk given by Jim Hayhurst, a man who had recently completed a failed expedition up Mt Everest. Yes, a failed trip because Jim’s son had a near fatal fall and Jim came close to dying himself, requiring him to turn back down the mountain before making it to the summit. While Jim regaled us with a variety of fascinating stories (read about them in “The Right Mountain”), one thought has stayed with me for more than a decade. It is a definition of success that I have used ever since. It is simply, “Success is the accomplishment of one’s goals without sacrificing one’s core values.” Think about it. It’s not achieving your goals at any cost; it is achieving your goals, while also living to your core values.
I’d love to hear your opinions on what success means to you. This is a fascinating topic to me, one I think often think about. In future posts, I’ll share with you my thoughts on the keys to success.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a 3-part series by Dave Sackman, LRW’s CEO, on the topic of success. This is the first in the series on the definition of success.