How do You Define Success?
Do you have to win to consider your effort a success? Do you have to PR in order to consider your training block a success? For some people, the answer to these questions is a “yes,” but should it be the answer for all of us?
I read something last week, written by one of my professors, that I will share with you now. It carries a message that I think we can all benefit from, especially our children and athletes.
The opportunity for success is available to everyone if it is defined as performing to one’s capability, rather than focusing solely on winning. Helping learners to focus on success and discussing with them what success really is, rather than allowing “winning” to be the only measure, nurtures the factors that ultimately lead to winning.
Success = Ability + Preparation + Effort
Ability. Everyone has ability, but it isn’t distributed equally or predictably. Often, ability is viewed as a gift of birth, but that doesn’t guarantee success. The challenge isn’t to have ability, but to develop and use the ability that is given.
Preparation. We gain greater use of our abilities by investing in preparation. Only through the persistent and consistent process of preparation can raw talent be transformed into greater capability. Through proper training, learners become faster, stronger, more skilled, knowledgeable, confident and mentally tough. Although developing greater capability is important, it is still no guarantee of success.
Effort. We control our own effort, and effort tends to be the strongest predictor of success. By this definition, success without effort is impossible.
When learners work hard to develop their ability, give their best effort, and demonstrate the will to push themselves beyond self-imposed limits, they are successful.
So, again I ask, how do you define success?