How do I define success?

by  S. Max Brown  |  Leadership Development

This past weekend, I had all kinds of things to accomplish before I flew out again for another week of presentations.  Everything was going according to plan until I realized my two-year-old son wasn’t feeling well.  Indeed, all he wanted to do was sit in my lap.

Have you ever had one of those days when things didn’t go as planned?  If so, how did you respond?  For me, I find that I respond better to this question when I ask this question first: “How do I define success?”

Since having kids, it has taken me a while to learn that my agenda is no longer my own (I’m a slow learner).  Fortunately, many years ago, my wife and I decided that our relationship, and the relationship that we have with our kids, is a priority that cannot be compromised.  In fact, our family relationships are the biggest part of our definition of success.

This isn’t easy considering my hectic travel schedule.  Needless to say, when I’m home, I’m working to be more present with my family.  I would love to say that I have it all figured out, but I am still a work in progress.  So, how did all of this translate in my actions this past weekend?

Gratefully, I realized that my son, and my family, needed me more than my “to do” list.  More importantly, I needed them more than my “to do” list as well.  We cooked comfort food and spent a lot of time just reading books, driving, playing games, watching movies, and sleeping.  When the weekend was over, I still had a long list of projects left incomplete (including this blog), but I actually drew closer to our family definition of success.

Indeed, the hours spent holding my son reminded me of what life is all about.

Have you ever had one of those days when things didn’t go as planned?  If so, how did you respond?

Is it time to revisit the question and ask:  How do I define success?

Is it possible that if you left some things incomplete you could actually be closer to your own definition of success?

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What People Are Saying

Living the Balanced Life  |  14 Apr 2011  |  Reply

Awesome Max!
You did the most important even though it may not have been the most urgent at the time. You did what so many have not done, you defined your priorities and are choosing to live by them. Good for you!

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