Success Does Not Define You

February 6, 2011

“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
–  Winston Churchill

Last week, I asked you how You Define Success, but this week, I want to ask you if success defines you. Sometimes, I can get so caught up in being successful that I let that define me. The problem with this is that, as Winston Churchill implied, success and failure go hand in hand. If I let success define me, how much more will I be defined by my failures?

Instead, I know I need to concentrate on the things that truly matter in life: my faith and my family. I could spend time doing the things I love with the people I love rather than chasing success.

This does not mean I do not have goals for my life. I do. I have goals for my marriage, my career, my blog. I have hopes and dreams, and I want to be successful. I just don’t want success to define me…because if it does, I may always feel like a failure.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Do you let success define you? Do you think success and failure go hand in hand? How do you balance success and failure?

Word of the Day: Goal
Word to the Wise:  “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

 Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to discourage you from being successful. I encourage you to set goals for yourself and strive to achieve them. If and when you fail, research Alexander Graham Bell, who was told the telephone would never be a success; read about Alexander Fleming, who found his cultures seemingly ruined before discovering penicillin; look up Thomas Edison, who failed to invent the light bulb 1,000 times before he succeeded; consider Babe Ruth, who held the record for striking out before he held the record for homeruns. Read similar stories at


You Define Success

January 30, 2011

“To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others, to give one’s self…
this is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is the definition of success? This is one question that has been on my mind a lot lately. If you read my recent The Story of You post, one reader defined success as having a dream and pursuing that dream. When things don’t go as planned, you just do what makes you happy. To that reader, that is the definition of success.

I would imagine that others define success by their careers, by their families, by their bank accounts. Maybe you define success by your popularity or by your looks.

Or maybe we define success by how other people view us. Is your spouse happy? Are your friends envious of you? Do your children think you are the “cool” parents?

I’m not sure why success has been on my mind lately. It could be due to the new endeavors I have taken up, such as blogging. It could be because I am about to reach the 1-year mark with my husband. Maybe it is because I am inching closer to 30 or because I hold subconscious opinions of where my career should be at 5 years in. I’m not sure, but I know that success is something I strive for in every aspect of my life.

I think we need a definition because we would not otherwise know when we achieve success. We can take control over our lives by identifying what success means to us. Maybe you agree with the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote above, or maybe you have a different idea. What is important is that you define success for yourself.

So how do you define success?

Word of the Day: Success
Word to the Wise:  “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7

Disclaimer: When I ask how you define success, I actually want to know your definitions. I may not have an answer to this one yet. Shocking, I know.