The Lure of Success
Let’s begin with the definition of success: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
Based on that definition, it’s easy to see why success is the pursuit of so many. I mean, we all want to be successful, right? Successful people have better jobs, make more money, win more games, wear nicer clothes, and have more friends.
See, as soon as we start talking about success we immediately begin thinking relatively. The focus quickly moves from truly striving to accomplishing our aim or purpose to comparing our accomplishments to those of others.
This comparison becomes our success. Rather than actually our aim or purpose, we call it success by being better than the next person. Our aim or purpose changes.
I’m certain most people don’t initially set out in pursuit of winning a comparison war. No, we begin with a dream and a vision of what we might be, but eventually settle for accepting a ‘better than’ reality.
Why, you might ask? That’s easy.
Success based on comparison provides comfort.
And, if there is anything we like, it’s comfort.
Why Should We Care?
I prefer to differentiate between excellence and success. The difference is slight, yet significant.
Those on the path to excellence are able, or willing, to do a few things that those drawn to success are not.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Combating the lure of success is difficult. Social media is one of the biggest challenges we face today. The immediacy of posts and comments drives many people to constant comparison in an effort to appear successful. Here are a few ideas that may help you to focus on excellence over success.
Excellence to me is about maximizing your potential. It’s about becoming all of who you were created to be. That doesn’t involve comparison with anyone besides your previous self. It’s a life-long journey, not a quarterly goal. It doesn’t provide the lure of success because it offers no comfort. However, what it lacks in comfort it provides in fulfillment.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.