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Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

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Lifestyles and Success

Defining My Success
Heidi Cogdill

Heidi discusses how each individual is responsible for defining what success means to them.

What's Your Goal?

Many years ago I was asked how I would define success. Immediately I thought of someone who had reached a level of fame or wealth. They must be the example of success - right? Days later the question popped back into my head and I began to really ponder the idea of success.

I then asked myself if I thought I was successful. I went through my mental "to do list" and realized I had yet to complete things I thought I would have done by now and decided I wasn’t successful. But then I realized that there were a lot of things I had accomplished and that made me feel successful at least when it came to those small accomplishments. So as a whole was I successful or not?

The Dictionary defines success as, "the accomplishment of what is desired or aimed at; an achievement." Well based on that definition, I did have successes because I had reached a few goals. But was I successful overall?

I began to ask everyone I came in contact with whether or not they believed they were successful. The majority of those I spoke with believed their success came by living life to its fullest potential. Others said that success was simply reaching their goals.

Although I was surprised to hear that most felt moderately successful in their lives, whether other people believed they were or not. I hadn’t thought of that. Could I be successful even though others didn’t view me that way? Jeremiah, a Sales Associate said, "It all depends on what their perception of success is.
My successes may or not fit into their idea." The most interesting thing was all the men I talked with said their professional life was very closely tied to the success of their personal life.
While the women I spoke with felt their overall success came with happy relationships and their spiritual self.

Carrie, a secretary said, "I want to succeed in all my goals and expectations for myself. If I don’t, what is the point." Roxanne a Dog Breeder said, "There may be little successes in life, like a marathon, but those are what make up the whole you." Overwhelmingly all said that complete success was impossible to achieve because that would mean perfection.

By the time I was finished interrogating all those around me, I realized that success was defined by each individual person and that we can never stop challenging ourselves to be better. Otherwise we’ve only succeeded in giving up.

© Heidi Cogdill Oct 2003

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