When will you be successful? If you’re like most people, what comes to mind is someday—somewhere off in the future, when you’ll suddenly wake up and think, “I made it! I’m a success!” That’s how most unsuccessful people see success: as something to strive for and hope to reach “someday.”
Each of us has a picture in mind of what we want our career to look like, our family to look like, and yes, from an early age we often conjure up images of the houses, cars, and things we would like to obtain. In many persons’ minds, success is something way off in the distance that they will run themselves ragged to get to – if they ever get to it at all.
At one time, I viewed success as a place where I would arrive. I defined it as the progressive realization of a predetermined, worthwhile goal. But over time, I realized that the definition falls short of the mark. It leads to “destination disease” – the belief that if we just arrive somewhere (e.g. attain a position, accomplish a goal, have a relationship with the right person), we will be successful.
But many years ago, I came to a different conclusion about success. All the traditional definitions either made success a destination to reach, or required some magic formula to obtain. I began to see success as a journey, an ongoing process of growth. And after over nearly fifty years of knowing successful people and studying the subject, this is the definition of success that I now embrace:
Knowing your purpose in life,
Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
Sowing seeds that benefit others.