10,000-14,999 SparkPoints 14,547

On Success

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Monday, January 06, 2014

With so much talk about “success stories” and being successful with losing weight, I’ve been thinking about what success means and what it looks like. How do you know if you are being successful?

To try to look at this more objectively, I went to to see how they define it. Here are a few of their definitions:

Success (noun):

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals
2. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors
3. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by the attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

Hmmmm, I’m not sure I 100% agree with this, particularly with how it relates to this journey to health.

Then I decided to read the thoughts of those far wiser than me.

“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.” -Charles Kendall Adams

“Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen.” -Phillip Adams

“Health, happiness and success depend upon the fighting spirit of each person. The big thing is not what happens to us in life - but what we do about what happens to us.” -George Allen

“Confidence is the companion of success.” –Anonymous

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” –Orison Swett Marden

“Success means doing the best with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” –Zig Ziglar

“The best way to succeed is to act on the advice you give to others.” –Anonymous

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” –Michael Jordan

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” –Bill Gates

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” –Morihei Ueshiba

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you.” –Tony Robbins

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?” –W. Clement Stone

“Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success.” –Paul J. Meyer

“Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone.” –Deepak Chopra

“There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.’” –Carrie Fisher

Wow, a lot of interesting ideas on success, and a few threads that can be pulled out from them:

1. You can’t have success without failure.
It makes sense, really. First of all, failing allows us to practice doing something so we can learn the best way to do it right. Secondly, how would we know what success looked like if we didn’t have a failure available for comparison?

2. It’s not just about the end result; it’s about the journey.
So true! Looking at whether or not the scale has moved down in any given week to determine success misses the point. I can starve myself for a week and lose weight, but is that success? Hardly. But looking at the choices I have made in my everyday living – things like choosing not to use food as a pacifier when stressed, getting in exercise, paying attention to my bodily cues – that is where success can be found.

And this journey? It never ends. Unlike the definition of success that talks about the “termination of attempts or endeavors,” true success on SP is lifelong. It isn’t just about losing a certain amount of weight or being able to complete a specific athletic feat; it’s about making the choices that will get us to whatever state of health we aspire to and then continuing to make those choices so we can maintain that state regardless of what changes may come in our environment. No termination of attempts here. It just keeps going and going…

3. Success takes a LOT of work.
Short-term success can be easily attained, like when we all first joined SP and had that rush of motivation that spurred us on to exercise, eat well, and drink plenty of water! But then the glow wore off, and doing all those things felt like, well, a lot of effort. Sometimes days, weeks, months can go by without wanting to do them. But those who have persevered in the face of that – they are successful. (And I am still trying to get there. But I won’t stop trying.)

4. Success doesn’t exist in a bubble.
This is what SP is built on, right? The community! I have been so off and on over these past 18 months that I sometimes wonder why anyone would still come visit my page or still have me as a SparkFriend. But every time I come back, various people I have talked with along the way are still there to welcome me with open arms and encourage me as I get into the swing of things again. It really means a lot to know that folks haven’t given up on me, and it spurs me on to strive for success in my daily life.

I also am glad for the opportunity to get to be a part of the journey of others who are sharing their stories on SP. Whether it’s celebrating their highs or supporting them during their lows, being involved with others here adds to this experience. It’s inspiring, it promotes camaraderie, it encourages success.

I think I’ve gone on enough here emoticon What are your thoughts on success?
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well done! I find great success-or happiness- by setting a long- term goal and then reaching lots of little mini goals along the way. Inspiring blog!
    1599 days ago
  • RENATA144
    emoticon blog !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1619 days ago
    GREAT blog and thank you for sharing your thoughts! I've always felt that NEVER giving up is my success. If I fall a million times, I will pick myself up a million and one times!
    1623 days ago
    Great blog! I always tell my son the difference between successful people and failures is they tried one more time.
    1624 days ago
    So many great ideas about success. I aspire to learn from all my failures and celebrate all my successes.
    1625 days ago
    Great blog! I tend to get down on myself and think I'm not a success because I haven't reached my goals, but you are right - my success is that I haven't given up, that I'm still in there plugging away and getting closer.
    1625 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2014 8:03:06 AM
    Wow, you covered all of it - in one blog!
    Love all the quotes you posted.
    I think to be successful at anything you'll need to be prepared to fail, get up and dust yourself off when you do, learn from your mistake, and then give it another go, and another, and another...
    And yes, the journey never ends. Think about all the adventures we can have along the way.
    Wishing you well, SparkFriend.
    1626 days ago
    What a wonderful distillation of so many threads on success!

    For me I think success boils down to 1) never giving up & 2) learning from our mistakes.

    Cheers to a year, heck a LIFE fIlled with failures turned into successes! :-)

    1626 days ago
  • LISA579
    I think success i doing your best. You keep going even when people say you cant. I love reading the meaning of success by real people.People who have lived it.
    1627 days ago
  • _BABE_
    I really enjoyed your thoughts on success because by your definition I am successful! I feel I have changed and I know it's put me that much closer and definitely pointed me in the direction of my goals.... emoticon
    1627 days ago
    I think you've said it all! emoticon emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.