Success is not a destination. It is not a goal. It however can be the thing that ruins everything.

Each of us has our own personal measure of success. We take that internal “vision” and apply it not only to the world around us, but ultimately to what and how we approach the very things to be done, that get us towards our vision of success. It is less a measure and more a destination. Things we do today may impact our success of 10 years, 20 years and beyond down the road. So when do you stop and refocus your vision of success?

I know so many people that are trapped in their vision. They don’t mean to be, they just are. The old adage stop and smell the roses is important. Not from a roses really smell good perspective but from a life should be lived perspective. There are great moments that pass us by in our rush for that arrow tip Success. We wind the long mountain road seeking the top, instead of stopping and remembering why we started in the first place. Remember your passion, remember shy it drove you in the direction you are seeking.

It is not a race. Not to the bottom. Not to the top. It is not a race. If I were as poetic as Dr. Suess I would say it is not a race in a box, not with a fox, not to the top not to the bottom. But I lack his flair and drawing skills. You get wrapped around that vision. You can’t get trapped in that race. You miss something then, you can’t recreate. Lost in a box, or eaten by a fox. Something that you want later in life but can’t later.

Back to the question, it nags me. When do we stop and evaluate our goal, success? A life event nearly two years ago now, followed by two more life events within the next 6 months, have made me question my goals. First off because I met people whose goals were at the cost of others. That I have to say scared me. They believed their success was more important than anything or anyone around them. But the life events only opened my eyes to that. I’ve always run into people like that, I’ve just ignored them and moved on. But now, going through the life changing events of 2014 I notice them.

I wouldn’t seek to change them. I just recognize them now. From the past I see clearly who they were. I know now that I should have steered clear but I did not. I engaged and now I feel regret. People live within the box they create for themselves. They do not venture far from their box, even to forage and get food. They are wound around that stair step to success.

“Do the right things and the money will follow.” Does that fit on the path to success? It should, but I know so many people willing to discard that for success. Dishonesty or even a willingness to believe someone is less than they are, or many someone’s are less than they are. It is ambition no question, the desire to place your success ahead of everything else.

I also realize now that there are people that perceived me as seeking success at any cost. To them, I apologize. It was never my intent, but I do now clearly that often actions, intent and values don’t come natively to other people. In apologizing for actions perceived (actual or again perceived only) I understand that sometimes things are misinterpreted. I do the same thing, so to those who I have placed the moniker success only and at any cost, my apologies if that was not your intent. Both sides accounted for. Those who though I was seeking only success, and those I thought were only seeking success.

Great shame to those who were. Those who only sought success regardless of its impact. But there comes a time in life when you look back and remember. Forgive yourself, forgive others around you who sought that great path. Because it is not anything other than something to be embarrassed about, to apologize for and to accept you could have been better.

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Wishing to be a better person, knowing I have a long way to go.