The Head’s Tales: Success – A Journey or a Destination?

Several weeks ago, our Athletics Coordinator posted a blog entitled Success Beyond Measures.  I would like to following up on his message…

Defining success is a challenging task.  In the Oxford Dictionary, success is defined as:

“a favourable result; the attainment of an aim,
or of wealth or status; a wished-for ending.”

This definition equates success with achievement of some sort, with arriving at a destination or attaining a goal.  It could measure someone’s wealth, status, attainment of certain possessions, access to power, or recognized accomplishment.  This however, is a very narrow definition of success and does not allow individuals to enjoy the process or journey towards success.  The advantages of viewing success as a process, is that being growth oriented will keep the momentum going and a person could achieve success in the most surprising places.  As such, success would be better described as:

“knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential,
and creating opportunities to explore and make contributions to society.”

W. Brett Wilson (co-star of Dragons’ Den and Risky Business host) states  in his book entitled Redefining Success that the path to real success depends on first establishing your own personal definition of success and then forging and adjusting your priorities to allow you to pursue your goals. In fact, he goes on to say that “the ability to make wise choices comes from experience, but experience comes from making mistakes.”  As such, success should also include learning from mistakes.

Hence, the picture of success or the success journey will not look the same for everyone.  What does success look like at school?  Too often, we measure it in terms of academic achievement and less on the merits of learning new things, growth in understanding, creating or experiencing new things.  Success should be more about setting goals, developing a plan to achieve them, overcoming obstacles, and staying true to one’s dreams.  This requires us to value the following attributes:

  • Positive thinker
  • Risk-taker
  • Resilient
  • Self-disciplined
  • Proficient
  • Confident

Additional Reading:  Your Road Map for Success.  J. C. Maxwell, 2002

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