What is success?

success image

About 1 year ago, I’ve shared via Facebook the following phrase: “What is Success? it is the ability to go to sleep with a peaceful soul”.

I think it’s author is Paulo Coelho but I can’t confirm it. After thinking in my commute, I can say I disagree with the phrase.

Despite I shared it, I don’t share that way of thinking.

Let’s see:

Is it a nice phrase? yes

is it comfortable? yes BUT, I wouldn’t use the word ‘Success’, I can say… ‘peace’, ‘personal happiness’, but I would not use the word SUCCESS to describe that. That phrase, tends to hold ourselves back. One thing is to be a good citizen, or a good person, and other is to be a succesful person. I repeat: They are 2 different things: success is not something you get by having a good sleep, actually it is something generated due to the opposite, with hard word (and why not? with maybe with a bit of luck), we set some goals, and we keep working until we reach them. If we reach those goals, we are successful, otherwise, we are NOT.

Quite simple and easy. I leave an example: In the last world cup (South Africa 2010), there’s no doubt that there are successful players that have been involved, from all countries. Lot of them may have had a nice sleep, specially those who reached the final match, or the first 4 positions, or best 8, you name it… your ‘personal success’. But success, public and global success, was exclusively for SPAIN, the current soccer champion (*).

By the way, we can also talk about “deserving” success. I have no doubt that both teams (Spain and Netherlands) deserved the success, but the soccer rules said that only one can be the champion. This means that maybe you deserve to win the matches. But what matters about talking about goals, is that goals are not deserved, goals are scored. In other disciplines, success can be for many people or teams. So my advice is: do your best to deserve success, no matter whether you achieve it or not. Please, once again: do not get confused on being a good person, and being a successful person. I share one last thought, and I’m finishing: It also matters, the goal you’re setting. There are goals and goals. You can aim to an unreachable goal, then you will feel ok for not achieving it (and as it is almost impossible, you never will). Or you can set a poor goal, and after achieving it, wait for public acknowledgement, but it’s not so nice. If you go on marathons, and your next goal is to run and catch the bus, it is a quite poor goal. You aren’t expecting public acknowledgement and congratulations for that, are you?

But if you have serious problems with doing exercise, the same goal (catch the bus by running) becomes somewhat more interesting. See? Same goal, different context and abilities. That’s it. What do you think?

(*) Just as a color note – 4 years later, in current World cup (Brazil 2014), Spain is noisily out of the world cup. So, sometimes you can have success, or failure, and the world goes on. You should see failure as PART of the road to success.

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