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What is a Success

The picture above has a powerful message as does this quote I saw the other day... ‘Success all depends on the second letter’. How true is this? We all have our own perceptions of what success means or involves but how many of us take the time to reflect on whether we can actually consider ourselves to be successful? We likely do but sometimes we approach this from the wrong angle. We have a tendency to compare ourselves with those people whom we admire. Is this comparison fair? If we are honest, probably not and maybe we should admit that we are just that little bit jealous of their apparent celebrity status? If the ongoing roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme results in the world being able to return to something approaching the normality we used to enjoy this would, in my opinion, quite rightly be considered as a global success. It’s very easy though to confuse success with fame and fortune. Most people would probably consider sporting world champions, Oscar winning actors, musicians with a string of hit records, best selling authors or YouTubers / social media ‘stars’ with many thousands of followers to be successful people. But in the modern world is success too often measured by monetary wealth? The mentality displayed by Roald Dahl’s character Veruca Salt who said - ‘I want it now!’ - perhaps might spring to mind? Success is very personal. Not everyone is going to become a world champion but this doesn’t mean that everyone can’t be successful in their own way. It’s all about perspective. Have you heard of the of the often used corporate world acronym ‘SMART’? For those of you that might not know SMART means: - Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely Now before you stop reading, I’m not about to sing the praises of the corporate world (far from it!), but I would like to dwell, if I may, on the A and the R in SMART - achievable and realistic.

If you set yourself an achievable goal and you achieve it, doesn’t that make you a success? I think it does. It’s that thing called perspective again. It is however important to distinguish between dreams and success. It’s ok to have dreams but how truly realistic are these? As mentioned earlier not everyone can become a world champion. Concentrating too much on trying to fulfil your dreams can sometimes be quite self defeating as they can generally involve unachievable goals. The key element of realism can be overlooked to the extent that you might lose sight of what you have actually achieved. Successfully achieving a goal should make you feel good. Now your individual goals might not appear to amount to much to others but that’s not really the point. They are personal and your resolve shouldn’t be deflected by what others might think. If someone else has a problem with something you’re doing, remember that is their problem - not yours. I know someone who suffers from arthritis and finds it very difficult to get out of bed on some days. She sets herself a goal of getting up within 30 minutes of the alarm clock going off. Not much you might say but on the days when the pain is especially bad this is a successful achievement for her as it means she will still get to work on time each day. Success is relative. We are back to that word ‘perspective’ again. What this hopefully illustrates is that success can take many forms and does not have to mean being on the cover of Hello magazine! So what is success? As the opening quote says - it all depends on you. Whatever you consider to be an achievement for you personally, no matter what this might involve, is a success. The more realistic and achievable your goals are the more successful you will become and the better you will feel about yourself. I’ll close with this amusing ditty...(apologies in advance!) ‘Never forget, nothing succeeds like a budgie with no teeth’!!! Don’t doubt yourself. You are a success. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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