Your Turn – How Do YOU Define Success?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How do you spell success?

MONEY

FAME

POWER

I was recently forced to face my own definition of success. You see, just a couple of days ago, I won a speech contest held by Toastmasters.  If you are not familiar with this group, it’s a non-profit organization that helps individuals develop their public speaking and leadership skills.

They hold numerous contests throughout the year, and the one I entered was the International Speech Contest. I have to admit that it was fun because I get to compete against my peers, who are pretty awesome speakers.  But it is also nerve wracking and takes a lot of preparation, so I was honored to take first place in the Area Contest.  When it all was over, there were lots of pictures taken, and many congratulatory hugs.  I was bursting with pride, and when I walked into my club meeting later that evening, I was met with applause and kudos from my peers.

But the next morning, as I was still basking in the glory of my win, I told several people about my success.

“Congratulations! What did you win?”

I quickly responded, “Well, now I advance to the next level and I compete with different speakers.”

“Yeah, but what did you win?”

My response wasn’t so quick this time, “Well, I get satisfaction knowing that I did my best and that the audience and judges identified with my speech.”

“I mean, how much money did you win?”

NOW I GET IT!!! It finally hit me that my win was not considered a success unless there was a dollar sign attached to it.

Now I didn’t feel so successful anymore.

It took me some time to think through my reaction to this exchange of words, and a heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend of mine, and I finally came to the conclusion that this time, for me, money was not the end goal. My success came from knowing that I found something I love to do, that I followed my passion, and that I’m determined to be the best I can be.  And that day, competing in that contest, I was able to share my passion with the audience and the judges.  I was able to bring some joy into their lives as well as my own.

So today, I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

That spells success for me.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Mindset Positive Thinking Professional Development
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