Monday, July 13, 2009

The Ladder of Success

The first objective to attaining success is determining exactly what success means to you. What would it take for you to feel that you are a success? In our society, we often view success as making lots of money, having power/talent/beauty and being recognized for such attributes.

However, success comes in various levels and doesn't always have to mean wealth and fame. Accomplishment of a goal is well worth pursuing. Success can be harvesting vegetables from your first garden or the completion of a manuscript. There is no greater excitement than the "I did it!" moment.

But, the thing is to keep your success in perspective so you will always enjoy the moment and look back on your successes, no matter how small, with pride. It is easy to let success become an enemy because for every rung on the ladder, there is always another rung. Unfortunately, success walks hand-in-hand with failure.

For a writer to make the NYT bestseller list is to be considered a success, more so than other writers. However, unless they make the #1 spot, they are still not tops, and if they do, how long does their book stay there? Long enough? And what about the next book? Success becomes frail quickly, and, sadly enough, it can take its toll on anyone.

You avoid that trap by celebrating your achievements as something that has made you happy, made you feel good about yourself and your capabilities, given you a good memory to cherish and the will to stay on the ladder. Remember, success will only make you feel badly if you expect too much of it, if you start comparing your success to what others have accomplished, and if the worry of failure overshadows all else.

It doesn't matter where you are on the ladder. You can go up and down as much as you want.

The main thing is to enjoy the climb.


gypsyscarlett said...

Beautifully said. I think one of the most important things is never compare yourself to others.

Live your own life, do your best, and follow your heart.

jennareynolds said...

Great post! I measure success by accomplishing my goals. Anything else is icing on the cake. :)

Michelle said...

Awesome post and so very true. I kinda needed to hear that today!

Rene said...

That's a great post. I think it is really hard on writers because we only see success if we get published. There are so many other milestones to measure ourselves by. And personally, I've discovered that writing is wonderful, but my influence on my children is more so. When my son brought home straight "A's," I saw that as great success on my part.

jessica said...

i’m an associate of mary anne radmacher’s and saw you’ve enjoyed her quote, “courage doesn't always roar.” i know mary anne is so happy when people find inspiration from her words in the context of their daily lives. for more work from mary anne’s hand visit her website mary anne has written several books and shares her work in many forms including conferences and classes. If you’d like more information feel free to e-mail me at thanks for sharing her words!