Your Turn – How Do YOU Define Success?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How do you spell success?




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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5 thoughts on “Your Turn – How Do YOU Define Success?”

  1. Karla says:

    So nice , Nancy, and so true! Money is not everything!

  2. Geryl Kramer says:

    wow Nancy!!! Congratulations on winning your contest- keep going

  3. Nancy says:

    My next competition is April 9th, so I’ll keep you posted. I am so fortunate that I have discovered my passion, and now have the opportunity to fulfill it. I wish everyone that same sense of happiness.

  4. Mary Helen says:

    Your heart should be bursting. So happy, excited and proud of all you do. Folks seem to measure success from their perspective not yours. Yours matters!! Happy dance for you. Best on the 9th!!

  5. Nancy says:

    Good point about people measuring success from their own perspective. I am thrilled that I have good friends and family to help me stay focused and who believe in me. They are all a HUGE part of my success.

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