There is a certain shallowness today when we measure success. If you do well, you get a reward (and sometimes children are rewarded just for showing up)…if you don’t do well you lose. Seriously, that is the biggest crock around. I’ve found myself explaining this to a variety of people, from teegagers to adults. While winning a race, receiving an award, completing a degree are all good things, they are not always, in and of themselves, definitive of success. The small failures we experience in life not only help us to reorganize our approach to a situation, they hone our ability to get better at it. The greatest successes in our lives are often preceded by many smaller failures. The greatest disservice we give people is to approach failure as a bad thing, something to be embarrassed about, or pity. Total BS. Without failure, we would never improve. Without failure we never learn graciousness in defeat. Without failure we never learn humility, or problem solving, or raising the bar, improving a work ethic or to redfine our talents. We are given an opportunity hone dormant talents when we fail that create a solid foundation for character when we finally reach or achieve a goal.
I think success should be measured as much or more by the process of getting to a goal than in the accolade itself. There too many examples of people who gain success too easily just to watch the implosion afterwards (often times cheating and cutting corners as they go just to win). I’ve seen as many examples of people work tirelessly, with no easy access just miss the brass ring And yet, when I compare the two, hands down, I would pin the marker of success on the one whose journey was more difficult because of the journey they undertook only to, what many others would say, just miss the mark. Character isn’t bourne by always winning, but by the many qualities developed when we lose. Some of the greatest lessons in my life have been because of personal failures, that when I look back at were essential moments leading to some of my greatest achievements.
There is such a negative stigma of being a “loser.” It can be the best and biggest opportunity for a future win if can embrace it as an important step of the journey.