May 21st 2007
As a husband, father, son, brother, coach, mentor, leader and friend, I find myself wresting with defining the true meaning of success.
It was easy when I was growing up. Win a game or score well on a test, and that was considered success. Today, with more responsibilities and priorities which are much different than they were while growing up, I find myself struggling to define success as I once did.
Success, as commonly defined, could be a prestigious business title or driving a new car, or to some it could be a high paying job. This is how success for many is defined, but as we grow older, many of us learn that “meaningful success” is much different and likely changes as we mature and our priorities change.
I’ve learned over the years the influence and impact I have on our children, as well as their friends, and it’s amazing to me how we set the pace for them and the values they will have in life. Knowing this, it’s easy to see how our definition of success changes over time from our status in society to creating a happy and successful future for our children.
I really enjoy the conversations I have with our kids; the questions they ask (and there are many), and how they’re such curious learners. I love that and it’s definitely the fuel that has changed my definition of success.
It used to be all about me while growing up – what’s in it for me, how will I benefit and how can I win? Now, it’s all about my family, friends and associates; what I can do for them, what’s in it for them, and how they can win.
I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to flip things around from me to others, and the realization that life is so much more fulfilling when our focus is on others needs and not our own.
So for me, success is really about what I can do for others, and it’s funny how people sometimes look at me or respond to me in a weird way – especially those I meet for the first time – because they seem to want to read into it more, as if to ask, “Why in the world would you want to do something for me when I’ve never done anything for you?”
As the old saying goes, “It’s better to give than it is to receive,” and in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? Make someone’s day today by giving of your time – our most precious gift – and call it a successful day.
Ron Goch, The Telios Group
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