What is Success to you?

Contributed January 18, 2022 by Cheryl Viola, Executive Director/CEO, MBA

Success means different things to everyone. If you’re a college student, Success for you right now is passing a class; it could be balancing school and a job. For others, Success is your first job, or maybe you received a promotion. To someone struggling with health issues, Success is getting out of bed and accomplishing one task. Success is not a one-time achievement; it is an ongoing process.

Find what you love to do and do it.

Oprah Winfrey said, “You know you’re on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

Have you ever wondered why the same people in the community volunteer for many different things? What do they know that you don’t? They have discovered what brings them joy. Same with your career. When you find something, you love you never work a day in your life. 

Balance work and Play

There is truth to the statement that successful people work hard. However, it is essential to remember that successful people also take time for recharging. Some of the signs of being run down and burned out include being tired and a lack of focus. The key to life balance is mastering your time. Become a master at prioritizing your time. Put the most urgent first, and I have learned that there are times when family comes first, and work comes first. How we balance, our time is different for each person.

Along with prioritizing our time, it is vital to minimize distractions. For example, to eliminate distractions, you could close the office door for an hour to remain focused. Turn off your notifications and silence your phones. Learning to prioritize your time takes practice and discipline. 

Do not be afraid of Failure.

Henry Ford said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Every attempt, every Failure is a lesson. It is easy to give up after a setback. Instead, look at Failure as a lesson and find what you learned in that experience.

Be a person of action.

Do not wait for the perfect time to take action. There is no ideal time. Recently on social media, I asked the question, “what are you doing to grow today?” I have a friend taking a painting class and posting a new painting daily; I have another friend who has started a weight loss challenge. Whatever it is you are doing, growth doesn’t need to be beneficial for your career. Any change, personal or professional, will affect all aspects of your life. The truth about Success is that you have to start. Starting a project or a goal is not about achieving the goal. It is about committing to something and creating the momentum forward.

Often people decide to put dreams aside for something more “realistic.” Too often people give up their dream for something easier. Do not look for an easy solution. Instead, I challenge you to start something and find a way to prioritize your time to achieve that goal.

On a personal note, I have been contemplating starting a doctorate program. I have spent two years asking myself questions like: How will this benefit my job? Will it open other doors for me? Can I afford it? Am I willing to sacrifice time to do the work? It has been two years, and if I had started when I first felt inspired, I would have almost done the course work—two years of delaying the start. But, of course, being a person of action doesn’t mean you have to go full speed ahead, but you need to start moving to gain momentum.

Have you ever seen a train start moving on the tracks? It takes a lot of energy and power to drive the large locomotive; the longer the train, the more power it needs. Once the wheels start rolling, then it becomes easier to apply speed. 

Cultivate Positive Relationships

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The single most important ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

People follow leaders they like. Building positive relationships starts with listening to others and caring about them. 

Success is not about individual ambitions, and it is what we build together. Therefore, it is the job of everyone in the community to help develop Jerome the best it can be. This is accomplished by caring for our neighbors, taking pride in the community.