Success is never easy. We’ve all heard that. However, do we know what success is? For many people it’s a dilemma or at the very least, confusing. So the too hard basket attracts another recruit.

According to Wikipedia; Success may mean, but is not limited to a level of social status or an achievement of an objective or goal. 

Everybody knows that starting a business from scratch is really tough. You may develop internal bruising from running into brick walls. You’ve probably suffered the unwelcome opinions of unbelievers. But you’ve dealt with all that and handled all your preparations as best you can and you’re ready to go.

You jump in the deep end… sink or swim. Expectations are high however, momentum slows down because you’re still treading water. You may even feel like you’re treading water in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight. But you knew that was the game from day one; success is never easy.

An author may want to be famous; sell millions of books and become rich, or make a reasonable living from writing, or just see his or her name in print on their very own book. Success has its own definition for anyone that consciously or subconsciously seeks it. We all seek it. We imagine a standard or goal that we feel would make us comfortable, happy, give us the lifestyle we desire or whatever and if we can reach it we’re sure we’ll be satisfied and successful. But who really knows what that is?

Every goal has a vision

In a story I wrote, a dog, a cat and a mouse said good bye to their folks in the animal forest to find success in the people’s world. They couldn’t return to the animal forest until they achieved success.

The dog found a kind and wealthy merchant, who loved animals and took care of the dog. The dog enjoyed a happy life. However, the dog wasn’t at all sure if that was success. The merchant was very wealthy. He could have whatever he wanted. The dog wanted to be just like the merchant. Wealth became the dog’s vision of success.

In the animal forest, the lion was the most powerful of the cats. Everyone feared the lion in the animal forest. In the people’s world, the cat discovered that people feared the lion too. The cat wanted to be as powerful as a lion. That was the cat’s vision of success.

The mouse found a tiny hole in the corner of a sandwich shop. The mouse didn’t dare come out of the hole while there were people there. It was too dangerous. The sandwich shop was famous for making the biggest and best baloney sandwiches in town. Every day, the owner of the sandwich shop cleaned up the shop before closing. Occasionally, the owner would miss a crumb or two, which the mouse gobbled down when the shop was empty. But the mouse longed for a baloney sandwich. Every day the mouse peeped out of the tiny hole in the corner and salavated at the sight of those big delicious baloney sandwiches. That was the mouse’s vision of success. The mouse planned for a baloney sandwich feast.

The big three

I asked my wonderfully logical wife for her take on success. Her perfectly logical answer was that success has an individual interpretation. Everyone sees it differently. But do they? Hollywood and the media would have us believe that success falls under three headings; Wealth, power and possessions. It’s hardly surprising that most of us are confused, most of the time.

Many people spend all their lives just living day to day, resigned to never achieving success, whatever that is. Others set goals and when they achieve a goal they’re still not satisfied. They want more so they set another goal and then another and it goes on until circumstances force them to stop and reassess their future. Sometimes, those circumstances can be pretty severe; life threatening severe. Sometimes they don’t stop until they’re dead. For most of us that’s scary.

According to the behaviour of many influential people, success is not having bank loads of money. Being relieved of financial worries doesn’t necessarily satisfy the need for self respect. Self respect is probably the most common thread in all successful endeavours. No one can deny that money can play an important role too. The world benefits from the generosity of philanthropists. However, wealth by itself is not a qualification for success. Fortunately, people without large bank accounts are not disqualified from doing good work or being successful.

A measure of success can be gauged by the individual who makes a contribution by a genuine application of whatever he or she is good at.

Of the three animals that left the animal forest, only the mouse returned. In the history of the animal forest, many animals returned successful and many never returned. But there were some who never left for they discovered success in what they already had.

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