In our minds, we all have a vision of success. Success comes in many forms, and in many facets of our lives. Our vision of success isn’t always the same as those around us.
We all want to experience success in our lives. We may want financial success, athletic success or success in relationships. We envision success in our early years, adult years or later in life. Regardless of where you fall, there is one common factor that is needed to experience success — hard work.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, we live in a society that promotes instant gratification. We want things to come easy. Advertisers make their living catering to this idea of instant gratification. How often do we see and hear “get in shape without exercising” or “make a million dollars in six months”? This approach often-times contradicts the harsh reality that success is not a destination, it is a journey.
How often do we find ourselves admiring a celebrity or sports star? We see what fame and fortune has done for them and in some ways would like to be them. We think about what our lives would be like if we could switch places. I believe these are normal feelings. We somehow believe these celebrities were born stars. It isn’t until we begin to look deeper into their path to success that we see the hard work, dedication and even setbacks that have shaped them. Their lives of fame and fortune have come with a high price of hard work and sacrifice. This is a true gauge of success.
As parents, teachers and mentors, we have — or will have — discussions about success. We will need to explain the meaning(s) of success and explain that it is not always an easy path. There will be victories and setbacks, pain and pride. There may even be a little envy and resentment. Through it all, we need to be supporters of the success journey of our children. Where and how do we start? I would recommend spending time developing short and long term goals.
Success doesn’t happen by accident. It is a life journey that takes planning. Goal setting can be taught at any level. If you are looking for a starting point – start S.M.A.R.T.
• Specific: What is it that you are seeking to accomplish?
• Measurable: How will you know if you are making progress? How will it be measured?
• Attainable: Make sure the goal can be reached.
• Realistic: Make sure the goal can be reached based on current skills.
• Timely: Set a time frame. One day, two weeks, or a month?
Local columnist Dan Bauman is the Main Street School principal.