Wait, what? Yes, I know what you earn is yours, too. Nevertheless, what you earn could be lost while you may never lose what you learn. It is interesting to think about how many times we use word ‘success’ in our daily conversations with whomever we come in contact. More surprisingly, how many times we really consider what success really means to each of us. A while ago, I used to believe that success only means to achieve your goals and dreams. However, as I started studying what success is on a deeper level, it turned out that success is not only about victories and achievements but also others things; as a matter of fact, the failure itself can be a success, too.
Now, I should make myself clear to you when I say that failure can be a success since most of you might ask me to take a look at the meaning of the word ‘success’ in the dictionary before making such a twisted statement. How could failure be a success? Here is the clue. We fail because we try and we fail because we put an effort to achieve the things that we want to achieve. In fact, there is a famous saying that says “If you have never failed, you have never lived.” When you try and when you make an effort, you are making yourself more lenient toward success even though you may have failed. You are much more successful compared to those who never took that step toward his/her dream. Furthermore, the lessons which you learn from your failure can serve you as a course correction in your next steps to success. When you try, you would either fail or succeed but if you don’t try, you would only fail. That is how simple it is.
The best success stories comes from the sports, one of the most significant metaphors used in language of success. After years and years of incredibly challenging training and ridiculous preparation, most Olympic medalists achieve the great success, a one that no ordinary human being could ever achieve. Many motivational speakers and books apply this principle to life by stating that simple disciplines that are practiced daily will make a great difference between success and failures. Nevertheless, here comes the major question. Is Olympic medal the only great success of a professional athlete?
Doubtlessly, it is a tremendous success in an athletic career to be worthy of an Olympic medal. However, what do athletes go through to reach this pinnacle of their careers? For most of them, they made unfailing commitment at an early age to go through that rigorous training process. They endure tremendous pain, repeated disappointments and unbelievable challenges during that process yet, they rise to become the great examples of how one can succeed, in spite of the difficulties of their chose path. Nevertheless, the medal is not the only success they achieve. What is even greater than an Olympic medal is who they become in the process. Jim Rohn once said “What you become is more important than what you get.” A lottery winner can win millions but most of the winners ends up worse than who they were before, mostly because they don’t know how to handle their sudden fortune. Someone said that if you take all the money on earth and distribute it evenly among everyone, the money will soon be back to the same pockets that it belonged before. Here is the reason. Unless you have worked hard and accumulated all the skills and disciplines that are required to earn your success, no matter how much ‘goddess of luck’ blesses you, you won’t be able to take advantage of it. In other words, no one can rob you of your skills, knowledge and disciplines no matter how hard you may fail. Just like an Olympic athlete may find success an every area in his/her life after they retire utilizing the advantages of who they became, a person of serious commitment, skills, disciplines, and knowledge can reach success no matter how low they may hit in their lives.
To conclude, what matters the most is not what you get but it is who you become and the value you gather up. A message behind the Einstein’s quote “Don’t become a man of success but a man of value” perhaps delivers the most important lesson. Your success can be taken away from you but not your values, your knowledge, and your disciplines.