What defines ‘success?’

What defines ‘success?’

Over Memorial Day weekend, my family and I spent some time visiting Nashville, Tennessee. One afternoon, we were walking through a local flea market in Nashville when I came across this sign.

As you can see it’s old. It’s rusty and just barely staying together with some simple welding in just the right spots. As soon as I saw, it caught my attention. This isn’t the image we typically think of when we hear the word ‘success’ in our society. We think of shiny, new, glamorous, and maybe even sparkling. But does it really look like that for everyone? Or even at all?

A business coach I’ve worked with for the past 5 years often starts our conversations with just that question: What does success like look? He will go a step further and ask me, “What does success look like to YOU, Steve?” This question frames our conversation and helps me focus on what matters in life. For me, it’s my wife, my boys, my faith and family. It’s those I work with and hang out with. Everything else is just about material matters or how others see me, not about what truly defines success.

When I reflect on this sign, I realize success, to the outside world, is about the luxury items like a shiny car, a nice suit, a big home, etc. But true success looks more like this sign. It looks like hard work, long hours, and grit. It’s persevering when others have given up. Success is not some shiny object but a life that’s given more than received. It’s about finishing stronger than when you began.

So, what does success look like to you?


Posted on

May 29, 2015

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