What is success? For normal people, it is lots of money, high academic achievements, prestige, a beautiful wife or handsome husband, a great job…
Success for them can be seen from the type of car you drive, or the clothes you wear, or the parties you attend, the people you go out with, the country you live in, the house you own, and many other visible and invisible indicators.
If you think about all these things, you’ll find out without thinking too much that in many cases these things can be owned by a person without him or her working hard to get them.
A small child could be filthy rich the moment he comes to world through inheritance…
A students gets a great sponsorship in a prestigious university because his relative is an important person…
Somebody gets born to a royal family and is prestigious by default…
He or she meets by accident a beautiful wife or hansom husband and they fall in love…
There is a vacancy in a fortune 500 company and you get a tip from a friend to apply quickly and since they need urgently somebody you get the job…
Can’t a looser drive a great car?
Or borrow some nice clothes for some event?
Through his friend attend a VIP party?
Or gets introduced to someone important and goes out with him or her?
A girls gets born in downtown London in a prestigious neighborhood…
A man wins a magnificent house through lottery…
All these things, do they in reality indicate success? Can these things be indicators of success if they could happen by accident? What kind of success is it if you get something through luck? Without working hard for it? Often without even deserving it?
How can these things be success if some people have it by default, as if they have a head start in life. Wouldn’t it be unfair to other people?
We didn’t mention that many get these things through illegal ways, like stealing somebody’s fortune, wife, car, or cheating in exams and so on. Where is the success in all that?
People have similar questions like the ones above. However they don’t really think deeply about the solution . They love all the things mentioned above and the moment they have them they start thinking of themselves as successful people.
Maybe there is an explanation for this. The feelings they get is not only because all those things above are lovable. They like these things because they are not easy to get. This makes these things demanded and not available to everybody. Therefore getting them, through hard work or through luck, is something good and beneficial.
Lets assume now that somebody has all these things mentioned above. All of them. Is this a indication that he or she is successful, and a guarantee that he or she is and will be happy as long the those things are available?
What is a lot of money worth if you have cancer and you can’t do anything about it, not even if you spend 100 times the money you have?
What is a beautiful wife worth if she cheats on you the moment you leave the house? Or a handsome husband who has an affair although you gave him everything you had?
What is a great academic degree worth if you live in a country where you can’t practice what you have studied?
What is it worth if you live in a prestigious place in lets say London and you are lonely? Nobody to love, nobody to talk to, or with people around that don’t understand you?
Shouldn’t anybody wish these things to happen to him or her? Should we stop working to get these things???
No! Of course not! These things are nice and good.
However lets take a look at the last phrase: working…
All these things can be achieved through hard work, continuous effort, and constant movement…
Or through luck…
A leader however thinks about success in this way:
She does work hard towards achieving her goals, regardless of what they are. Yet she knows that sometimes her goals can’t be achieved because of circumstances that are out of her hand. She also knows that other people might get the same thing with luck or with small effort.
However one thing great leaders do believe in:
It is not all the time the goal you reach that indicates your success. However it is all the time the amount of effort you do that indicates how much you have worked to to reach your goal. And this is the real indicator of success.
If we compare a person who gets a scholarship because he has acquaintances, and another person who comes from a poor family and studies hard and earns a scholarship after passing many tests, you can see that the goal is the same. However the effort she gave to earn the scholarship is larger than the efforts of the person who gets the scholarship through connections. Who is more successful here?
A girl works hard to support a family and has to give up or delay her dream to study abroad, and even if she gets to study abroad, she has to pay for her own tuition, support herself and her family; in comparison a guy who is not responsible for anybody and can leave the country at any time he wants and somebody else pays for his studies. Who is more successful here?
Leaders are happy people, because they enjoy two types of success: the success of reaching the actual goal, and another type success that begins the moment they start working towards achieving their goals. For leaders, working towards a goal is success too, because they know that the measure for success is the amount of work they do, and not always the goal they reach.
They believe in this too: sometimes the goal itself is worthless. What has more value is the fact that you tried to reach that goal and worked hard towards achieving it. What is more worth are the new things you learned on your journey to achieve your goals, the new experiences you gained.
Working towards something makes you stronger. And it makes you capable of achieving many other thing in the future. Therefore if a leader fails, she will not be sad. She regards her work already a success. She only didn’t reach the goal she had in her mind. But through what she has learned in her experience she might be able to achieve much greater goals in the future. This might be regarded as training towards achieving higher levels of success.
It is not that important where she is now, what she has achieved so far, and how the near future will be. What is more important is that she always does her best to achieve her goals, and that she knows that working towards a goal is a kind of success she gets to feel every single moment she works on something. She has trust in God and what he wants for her. From her side she gives her best. The outcome is up to him.
The success of a leader is ongoing. Forever. And it is true success.