You’ve probably noticed that, in my previous post about being a success I said nothing about money.  I suppose many–maybe most–folks consider making money a mark of success.  How do you think about that?  If money doesn’t buy happiness, (you must have heard this as often as I have) then do you consider being happy a measure of success?  Maybe I should have changed the saying to:  “Wealth doesn’t buy happiness.”  Vast difference, I think, between having money and having wealth,  between having enough to eat and dining richly on white linen tablecloths.

But we all agree, however we measure success, that we’d like having some, right?  I recently read a magazine article that had suggestions about gaining success.  It quoted Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs who, in turn, had quoted something Jobs said when he was young: “The journey is the reward.”  Jobs went on to say “I did learn some things along the way . . . I really did.”

So, what did I learn from the article?  There were four major categories.  The first category was VISION.  That’s the ability (article author Barbara Vining says),  to see possibilities beyond what has yet been imagined, and to translate that vision into concrete accomplishment.  She says anyone can cultivate this ability.  So, like it or not, I’m betting (and Vining is affirming) that you already have vision, even though you may have to dig deep inside to find it.  Take a quiet moment and think about that.

Second, Vining lists FOCUS as important in achieving success.  “Keeping both the overall goal and the specific task at hand clearly in view enables one to say ‘No!’ to mental and physical distractions, to taking on responsibilities that others can do, and to giving in to unhealthy tendencies.”  (Got that message?  I sure do.  Follow it always?  Well, I sure try.)

Third: COURAGE.  Oh boy, I get that, and I bet you do, too. “Try, try, try again.”  I haven’t a clue where I first heard that. Probably it was a message I heard repeated in childhood.  But gee, it popped into my head now as a mature adult when I thought of using courage on the road to success.  Have the courage to believe in yourself and keep trying.

(What cheer leading messages can you add to help us all along the way to success?)

Fourth: PERSISTENCE.  Well, that makes sense, and repeats the message “Never give up.”  Vining reminds us that Thomas Edison experimented over a hundred times before he succeeded in producing the incandescent light bulb.

Sometimes friends or family members, knowing your goals, will help you in the persistence thing, even if just by asking frequently how things are coming along until you want to swat them.  But still you push ahead so, eventually, you can tell them about your success,  large or small.

If you are a God-leaning person (or rely on an ultimate and beneficent force or power you call by another name) then you have a very strong partner on your journey to success–and you already know that.

However you define success, you gotta admit it’s a topic worth pondering.



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14 Responses to “ARE YOU A SUCCESS? Part II”

  1. jennymilch Says:

    I think that about sums it up, Radine. Sometimes the vision or focus is so targeted, we can forget about other things. So it helps to take a break from needing success every so often just to appreciate those meals on the table and family members who support us. Then…back to dreaming.

  2. pegbrantley Says:

    I write three pages every morning in longhand a la THE ARTIST’S WAY. The first half-page includes things to help affirm my focus, creativity, courage and dreams.

    Two days ago, my first novel went “live” on Amazon. Right now, that counts in my success column. Will it count when sales languish? Probably not so much.

    Thanks for the great timing of this post.

    • radine Says:

      Peg, perhaps you should compile your “first half-pages” into an inspirational book for us all. Gosh, what a terrific idea. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PUBLICATION OF YOUR NOVEL. Title?

      • pegbrantley Says:

        It’s called RED TIDE. (And thanks for asking!)

        The affirmations are always the same. They serve to wake my brain up as I sip my first cup of coffee. As I need another one, it gets added. The best one lately: Trust the process.

      • radine Says:

        Great! Thanks, Radine

  3. radine Says:

    Right. I felt this most strongly when my husband stuck his head in the doorway of my office around 5:30 and asked, plaintively, “What did we have in mind for supper?” Poor dear. He is now learning to cook and, in fact, is compiling a book featuring Carrie and Henry’s favorite recipes (E A S Y!) for Oak Tree Press

  4. Sandra Carey Cody Says:

    Nice article. The part with which I most identify as a writer is the bit about COURAGE. Like most (maybe all) writers, I try for perfection and never quite achieve it. At some point, however, you have to let go and send your story out, hoping that your idea is strong enough to overcome your human limitations.

    • radine Says:

      Courage. Yes. Y’know, I never thought about putting courage up front before reading the magazine article, but, as you can see from what I said, the minute I did, I “got it!”

  5. rosemary harris Says:

    What a terrific piece! Rats…now I’m going to have to go back and read your other blog posts..

    I’ve considered myself a success ever since I wrote the words The End for the first time. That I have managed to write and publish four books in about six years makes me feel like a success even if Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times hasn’t discovered me yet 😉 And if I never publish another word I’ll still feel like a success. It’s the journey.

    • radine Says:

      I loved reading about your success, Rosemary, though from your posts elsewhere I had already had a hint! Satisfaction with our success (whatever our definition of success may be) is a blessing.

  6. Joyce Lavene Says:

    Hi Radine!

    I would like to add that everyone needs to realize that they are going to fall down, to make mistakes. Successful people know this and know that they have to pick themselves up and dust themselves off – start all over again. Like the old song says.


  7. Anonymous Aspirant Says:

    I guess I’ll consider myself a success when I publish something that those I greatly respect think is great.

  8. Brenda Black's Musings Says:

    Radine, I’ve had a lot of what people usually call success, including monetary, in other fields. I am now starting down my writing path. I have always put other projects and people first. I tell myself it’s enough if I just get some stories down for future generations, but somewhere inside, I fear I will never feel like a success until I see my name printed on the cover of a book. It’s a lifelong dream, but more than that, it’s a covenant with myself, that this is what I am supposed to do, what I’ve promised myself I will do, what I’m compelled to do.

    • radine Says:

      And, Brenda, many of us eagerly await the time when we can buy your debut novel or non-fiction book! I suppose you have thought of this, but you are also uniquely qualified to write some type of non-fiction book giving advice on plant buying, care, etc. etc. Or a booklet titled: “What you always wanted to know about growing plants but were afraid to ask!” (Afraid, lest you be identified as one of those black-thumb people!)

      Some of us would be happy to provide “before” photos of puny plants belonging to black-thumbers as examples. Then you could save them! (The plants, I mean.) 🙂

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