I think I'm wiser from every failure. Every diet I've tried, every attempt at mindfulness and meditation, every new habit that has failed. I am too hard on myself each time I quit or fail.
I'm not unhealthy. I'm not stressed to the point of sleeplessness or suicidal thoughts. I can relax, I can breathe deeply, I can organize my day and stick with each task until completion.
I've learned these things from my sometimes feeble attempts. I understand what's needed to accomplish items when I aim to, I simply choose not too.
I choose not to stretch multiple times a day. I choose not to exercise. I choose not to work on the proposal, or plan, or manuscript. It's not you, it's me. My own worst enemy, they say.
I'm learning each day I procrastinate. I learn because I read the articles and books, I listen to the experts telling me what I must do to succeed.
Luck & Chance
We don't get their full, truthful transparency. We get the vision of excellence designed by the experts' marketing and publicity teams. We don't see their actual successes that actually fund their journey into expertise. Or maybe we do, but that's not the sexy part of the story. We don't hear about the luck and chance that got them to where they are today. Because so much is about this - luck and chance.
I can't rely exclusively on luck and chance though. Nobody should. But making attempts to improve myself gets me closer to the luck, closer to that chance encounter. Trying and failing gets me closer to the success I long for. And that success isn't the Ferrari or fancy home. It's extended vacations with my family. It's the peace of mind that the house has been paid for. It's knowing that the kids can go to college without the massive debt they should otherwise expect. It's having Heather home with me and traveling to my speaking engagements. It's knowing that our retirement savings are secure and ready for us to unplug from the day-to-day. A house on a lake with a wood-burning fireplace. Maybe a hot tub too.
What is Success?
Having these visions alone is a success. Most people don't envision what their success looks like. Waiting in the car, in the fall sun, writing this as I wait for the kids is success. Happy, healthy, smart, silly kids... our success. Excited to see Heather when she gets home from work. Success. Leaving to Chicago for Google, success. Leaving to Louisville for my own engagement, success. Running my own business with wonderful clients, success. Writing and having my book published, success.
Take a minute to consider what your success looks like. Now consider all of your successes to date. You're more successful than you think.
I'm 45. I'm just getting started.