Measuring Success

Some days there seems so much to write about I wonder where to start. The challenge is to put all my thoughts down in the few words available to me in a blog. Oh I could write streams but surely I would lose a few of you along the way and I wouldn’t want to risk that.

I am excited about writing more about parenting, today’s education system and navigating adolescence (the lovely singer who is performing at my Summer party got me going!), but I think I will start today with how do we measure success?

When would we know we got it right?

In today’s society and in our culture in particular, success is often measured by the amount of money we have, the size of house we own or the car we drive and occasionally by the number of exams we have passed.

I consider myself successful, but I am useless with money ( I haven’t even started to pay off my mortgage yet) , so I don’t actually own my own home, I haven’t got a flashy car and I only managed to scrape through school with one GCSE (ok I collected a few more as a mature student), however I do consider myself as being successful, because I am (most of the time) happy and content. Yes even though I am considered as having an incurable cancer and experiencing a few not so pleasant side effects at the moment including insomnia!

If one is happy and content in life then what does anything else matter?

I think most of us would agree that happiness and contentment are the primary factors when it comes to measuring success.

Here is a little story I found which I think illustrates success perfectly.

An American businessman was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked the Mexican how he spent the rest of his time.

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.”

“You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your Expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed, and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public. You’ll become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions, senor?” replied the Mexican. “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal Fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Food for thought?

Don’t wait for success to happen in the future, have a think about how you would measure success today. How am I going to make today successful? Enjoy the moment and the journey.

You could put your new found visualisation skills into practice and go and visit the place right now.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous poet and philosopher defined success in a life as:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of
intelligent people and affection of children; to learn the
appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in
others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social
condition; to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

I think the Mexican fisherman would have agreed with Emerson and so do I.

Life is short so get out there and have a successful day TODAY, don’t wait for it to happen in the future. Yesterday has already gone so there is no point in worrying about it now and tomorrow will come again, it’s today that’s important.

Ooh, look at me Miss future focused is really getting into the here and now. I really must do a piece on time lines!

Have a good one