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Success is something that most of us strive for at one time or another, whether it is work-related, to do with our relationships, or health-related – stopping smoking, cutting down alcohol or getting fit. Whatever it is, success is always related to change – it’s about something in our lives being different.

It’s hard sometimes to feel successful, especially when we don’t really know what success means or how it would look. We set ourselves goals that are not clearly defined and then we berate ourselves for not meeting them. We see what we haven’t achieved, and often forget what we have achieved, because the small successes quickly become part of our lives, like an old chest of drawers that we no longer notice.

Success is doing the best that you are capable of at any given time – it is not about gaining status, material possessions or financial wealth; and it is certainly not about that which can be measured against someone else. We are all different, with different abilities and skills, and our gifts are all piled up against the backdrop of our lives, much of which is not under our immediate control.

Part of achieving success is recognising what is not under your control – primarily the behaviour and desires of other people – though other things in the short term may fall into this category, such as financial security, country of residence, or work-related stress. However, we can take small steps towards changing those things over time, and our own behaviour is within our immediate control. We can choose to be different, to take chances, and to accept opportunities.

The opportunities that are offered to us are varied. They might include counselling, or you may choose change instead through making a new friend, starting a new class, or just going for a short walk every day. Success is doing the best you can in any given situation, and this may mean sitting tight for a while until an opportunity comes your way, or until you’re ready – it may even mean just getting out of bed or having a shower. Success for you might also be about forgiving yourself when you fail on the way to success, because success always includes failure from time to time, like with small children learning to walk.

I watched a video by Coach John Wooden (UCLA), which is what inspired me to write down my thoughts. It is 17 minutes long, but at least listen to the first few minutes. If you get bored, turn it off and don’t berate yourself. Maybe it’s not the right message for you and that’s okay too. You can access it here if you want.

After I watched this video, another link popped up, which is only three minutes, and it gives the eight secrets to success: passion, work, focus, persisting, ideas, being good, pushing through, and serving others. It is by analyst, Richard St. John, and you can access it here.

I hope something in all of this helps you, because it helped me. None of us are perfect and we’re all in this together, learning how to be the best that we can be.

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