“I’ve learned that the gauge of success is not whether you have a tough problem, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year.”
Tough problems are not bad things. In fact I might presume to say that without them we really would grow very little in who we are and our character would have very little depth. We certainly would not be very interesting to each other.
It is in facing a challenge and wrestling with the difficulties that we learn, not only about ourselves, but about others as well. We sometimes learn what we are capable of doing and other times learn that there are things that we don’t do so well. Or perhaps we learn that even though we can do something, we don’t really want to do it!
We all seek some measure of success in our lives and success is most certainly different things to different people.
For years I felt some of the pressure of society’s measure of success: How much could you achieve in your career? How close to the top could you get? How much could you conquer and master to demonstrate your brilliance? And for a while I sort of stayed with that path because really to me, success was providing a good life for my children; being able to send them to college. So, advancing up the ladder (and making more money) was in line with my ultimate goal of being a good mother and provider.
And to be sure I took on great challenges and conquered them one by one. What I came to discover (through my various job changes) is that I am somebody who, once I have figured out how to do something, is ready to move on to the next thing. So, I kept coming up against the same problem; and yes, it was the very same one that I had last year (or several years ago)!!! I need a new job!
So my success came in walking away from, what many would consider, a decent job in a really bad economy! I needed to solve my recurrent problem and discover a way to define my own success.
The challenges that I took on in my last job taught me lots of things about myself and others. I found out that I can make others (my leadership) look very good because of my organizational abilities and the quality of work that my integrity drives me to produce. I also learned that there are some (my leadership) who were more than willing to let me do most of the work. I determined that I can be a great leader to my staff and gain the respect of those that work for me and with me. I also found that if the leadership does not have the same capacity to lead, it is very exhausting holding an organization together. I confirmed that I have a knack for dealing with disgruntled customers and getting everybody on the same page. But, I was also forced to admit that when others make empty promises to customers, it makes the job of doing that very difficult.
I don’t consider leaving this last job a failure. I very much consider my time there and my leaving a success! I learned a great deal about myself that I obviously needed to learn so that I could move on to my own success. My success came in realizing that I needed to get back to helping others in a much more direct and intentional way; so here I am, blogging about a variety of topics and coaching others. I get to be up close and personal with those facing their challenges and help them with making sure that their current problem is not the same one they are facing next year! I help them to discover what their own success is going to be and how they are going to achieve it! What an honor!
So, I would say to you, embrace your challenges! Know that in going through them you are deepening your character and learning about yourself. You may sometimes have to hold your nose to keep going through your current circumstances, and fail a little along the way, but persevere until you reveal your next success.
Dale Carnegie says “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success.” You may not need to quit your job to find success, but you do need to continue to work through life’s problems and challenges and come through the other side with new understanding so that you don’t stay stuck in the same problem over and over again.
What will be your next success? How will your next challenge deepen your character?
On the journey with you…….Kathy
(I would love to hear how a challenge that you have had has led to your next success! Please share a comment!)
(Quote: Age 49- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)