Yesterday morning, I was kind of half-listening to the radio, when I realized the station I was listening to was airing a program about how to succeed. I appreciate this little community radio station and I often think their programming is distinct and interesting, so I started to listen a bit more closely. Soon, I was struck not by the methods the program recommended to succeed, but by the definition they used of success itself – which came down to making money, and lots of it. It really wasn’t a surprise, being that I live in a capitalist society, but it did seem a bit, I don’t know, perhaps, well, narrow – the making of money, the making of more money, the making of the most money.
Now, I’m not against having enough financial wherewithal to have a comfortable life (and I suppose, we could argue endlessly the definition of “comfortable”). But to me, success is so much more than money. It is moving forward. It is being happy. It is changing course when moving forward is not the right direction. It is awakening every day and trying your best to be the best runner you can be, or the best artist, or the best garbage collector, or the best dog-owner, or, well, the best whatever.
I feel that I am often successful (of course, not always – there must be the yin, along with the yang). Although my 100-mile run attempt has yet to come, and I may or may not be “successful,” I like to think that moving in that direction, taking one step forward, and then another, and another, either literally, or figurtively, or both, is what defines success. Perhaps I’m just consoling myself early for a potential DNF, but I don’t think so. I will try my hardest and with the most gumption I can drum up to finish. And I think that spells success.
How do you define success?