Success: the journey is the reward not only the end result.
Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey. Success is every minute you live.”Jenifer James
How do you define success?
Is it by the praise and awe from those around you when you have completed a goal? Or the feeling of accomplishing tough situations and the process it took you to get there? What about a piece of paper saying you’ve completed something or a shiny award? Maybe success looks like something monetary to you. Whatever it is, I invite you to take a step back and look at success in a different light.
The thing about looking at success as only the end goal, it leads us to become forever searching for the “next thing” that will make us successful. Rather than the result being the marker of success or not, we need to shift our mindset to look at it as a reward for doing the work, that makes us successful. Not the marker of success itself.
When most people think of being successful in life, the “general” definition falls somewhere along the lines of Once you have a good paying job, a nice big house you own, a fancy car, a perfect partner and family then you will be considered successful. – However, all of these things don’t make you successful, if you aren’t happy. If you are constantly chasing for “more” and comparing yourself to others in your life or on your timeline. Then you will never feel successful or satisfied with what you have in your own life.
We have all heard the quote
“comparison is the thief of joy.”– Theodore Roosevelt.
Why has it stuck around and kept getting said years later? Because it’s true, just as it steals your joy it will also steal your sense of success. If you are constantly thinking you aren’t successful because you aren’t where others are yet. You’ll never get there. But as we already stated early what if it’s not even the end goal that really matters in the grand scheme of things. If we take out that illusion that it’s the end result that matters, then how would we compare our success to others?
That’s the beauty. You couldn’t.
See when you take a step back and look at the journey as what makes you successful rather than whatever it is you want to be successful at. You will see that you’ve adapted and changed to be able to obtain the goal.
Let’s say, you want to buy a house before 30. You work hard, find ways to make your income larger, make yourself a dedicated worker, become financially savvy and save until the day comes you can buy that house. In the grand scheme, it’s oh your successful because you bought a home. But, when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Yes, the end goal was to buy that home. However, along the way you learned how to be a dedicated worker, and you learned how to be better at saving money. Worked hard and learned that you can say no to things that would make you take longer to reach your goal. -Vacation with friends instead of saving, or not taking overtime when you had already planned because “something cool is happening”- (Not that you shouldn’t do those things but when you’ve got priorities you have to make those hard decisions)
So yes, the home you saved for and were able to buy at the end is most definitely something grand and a reward for the hard work and dedication you put in. However what made you successful in your goal, and a successful person? It was the hard work and skills you had to learn. Because if it wasn’t for you learning and building them, you wouldn’t have reached that end goal.
This can be translated into most if not all things in life.
Yes, the end goal is the reward, but success is how you grow and evolve on the way to get there. Do you want to be a successful writer? You learn the skills to write, compile and compose the words in ways others want to read. If you want to be a great sports player you learn dedication, hard work, and the skills to master whatever that sport may be. You don’t just become a great cook, you learn. You take the time and effort to find out what foods click and what others don’t, what spices dance beautifully on the pallet and what makes you run for the hills.
Success isn’t just something or someplace you can end up at.
It doesn’t have a destination. You can be a successful person: but you yourself will never be “success”. Because just like the world around us forever changing, our own definition of success will change too. This makes the skills that we have learned from one journey may translate over to the next to help us succeed at our new goal. Until we learn and narrow in on our new set of skills we need for the new goal we cant succeed we can not just arrive at the goal. We must take the journey and build our way there, making us successful.
People take so much time thinking about the end goal and not how they will or even why they want to get there. It’s been so ingrained in us as a culture to be “successful” that our own point of view has become skewed. It evolved into the idea of what those around us have deemed successful. However, this isn’t how things are supposed to be. People are not cookie-cutter perfect replicas we all have different thoughts, goals, and aspirations. Which would also make all of our perceptions of success different. But when hearing from so many people and from all different media consumptions of this cookie cutter “success”, can lead us to not find our own path of success and leave an empty feeling of never reaching a successful life.
But when we take that mindset shift of focusing on the steps, we need to take to be successful.
We can find our own version of success. Not getting that next promotion at work but gaining the skills and knowledge that are needed to be at that level in the company. Not just having what we think is our ideal body but being able to be dedicated, determined, and driven enough to eventually obtain that body composition. There’s so much more reward in the journey and watching yourself grow, evolve and expand beyond what you already are than just having what you have set out to get.
The next time you feel like you aren’t successful or that you can’t or won’t succeed I invite you to step back and look at our journey. Look at all the things you have learned, and how much you have grown. The person you have become rather than that end goal. Give yourself some grace because you can be and will be successful as long as you keep trying, keep going, and keep growing.
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