You're probably familiar with this saying's first cousin: "Winners never quit. Quitters never win." I like the idea of redefining success much better. If you see your sole options as winning, losing or quitting, that leaves you with only one happy outcome of the three. But if you give yourself the choice of reconfiguring your goals as you go along, the odds of coming out feeling good about yourself and your efforts rise exponentially.
Let's say your aim is to lose 10 pounds in a month and instead you lose 5 (or even 2). You can say, "I didn't lose 10 pounds and so I failed. Pass the M&Ms." You might also say "I lost 5 pounds, but I'm still on track and I feel happy with what I've achieved." (Success redefined.) Healthier yet: "I lost weight - good for me! But I haven't reached my final goal, so it looks as if I might have to give myself some more time to lose those 5 pounds." (Success still pending; original goal slightly altered.)
Rather than focusing on how you've fallen short, you're taking into account the wisdom you've gleaned from your attempts at achieving the goal. That's empowering and will spur you on.
Walter and Betty Roberts, a young couple in Atlanta, Georgia, gave drama lessons to the children of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Even though the Robertses were white, they welcomed black children into their home during those racially charged times. In October 1967, upon hearing the news that Betty Roberts had to go to the hospital to deliver her third child, Mrs. King paid all of the family’s hospital bills as a gesture of thanks. That child: Julia Roberts.
You don't need a map or an itinerary for a personal journey, just a sense of adventure and maybe this reminder: That breathless, soul-quenching feeling of awe you get when you catch a water color sunset never comes during a commercial break. To grow, you have to get outside and go. Whether you want to walk farther, pedal harder or simply drink in the scenery more appreciatively, cross every bridge with a brave and open heart.