Success in the new year …
As the year drew to a close, I found myself evaluating whether I experienced a “successful” year. We can measure some things with formulas, spreadsheets and crossed-off to-do lists, but many of the important things we do in life don’t have concrete metrics to determine whether we hit the mark.
Thinking about this, I asked a few friends how they define success and these were among the responses I received:
• To be loved for who you are, respected for what you do and to be understood in doing both.
• As a future educator success to me isn’t about the letter grades or a GPA but it’s about the small improvements, the little light-bulb movements of when a student finally gets it. Success is measured by the little things.
• How well you loved others.
So I decided to evaluate a few things for myself to determine where I was successful and where I can try to improve in the coming year.
1. Did I turn trials into triumphs? Or, did I turn trials into pity parties? I believe we can succeed, even in difficult circumstances, but we have to choose to push through the adversity and fear. If necessary, we also have to take responsibility for our part of the problem. Too many times we blame others and are blind to the part we played when things go wrong. If we want to experience success, we need to have a positive attitude and dedicate ourselves to being part of a solution.
2. Did I learn anything new? Or did I rely on old thought patterns and outdated ideas? Did I read something that stretched my mind or have any deep meaningful conversations with people I trusted? I think it’s hard to experience success when we are comfortable all the time. Success comes from growth, and growth usually means going outside our comfort zones.
3. Was I productive enough? Or was I too productive? Life is short and I’m not advocating for busy-ness, but there is something to be said for accomplishing priorities. One thing I have found myself doing after a long day is zoning out in front of a “screen” and losing track of time when there are still other things to get done. To be successful, we absolutely need a balance of work and play in our lives, so I do better with to-do lists to stay focused. And when the goals have been met and tasks completed, it’s good to rest and reset.
Success means many different things to all of us, but I believe a common theme is our interaction with other people. Nobody I asked said that success was having a big house and a fancy car. In fact, not one person mentioned anything about material possessions. It really made me think about what’s truly important and how I can make improvements in my life while trying to help the people I engage with experience success, too.
By Melissa Kindall
Manager, Social Media and Digital Communications
Diakon Corporate Communications & Public Relations
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