Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou
Success looks and feels different for every person and based on whatever situation might be present at the time; however, we must remember that the finish line is a constantly moving target. Sometimes that “finish line” to “success” will be completing one thing on your daily to-do list, and other times it will be completing grad school, but whatever it is to you, at that moment, it is valid and important.
Frequently we forget to acknowledge our small successes which undermines our ability to keep moving forward. We can’t see the “forest for the trees” when we forget to look at our every day actions that are propelling us toward the life we dream about. Let’s take grad school as an example. We see the “success finish line” as graduation (duh!) – but we forget that in the day-to-day, people are making time for readings and homework. They might be prioritizing time spent with friends and family with the counterbalance of papers and group work. There will be actions taken, that seem like small things, such as making sure to get up an hour earlier each day to facilitate time for working out, or just a little alone time, but those tiny actions each day or the micro-steps that will eventually cover the miles to graduation.
Also – run your own race! Success is not a “one size fits most” and that mentality will only derail you from your own goals. The path you are on is yours alone. The steps you take to get to your finish line will differ from someone else going for the same finish, but that doesn’t make your path wrong. You don’t need to look side to side and see what “Successful Susie” is up to – you need only define and stick to your path that works for you! When you are able to forge ahead and make your way, you’ll feel that breeze from behind that pushes you forward and cools your spirit. You will notice that the strides feel easier and the day-to-day steps are now mere warm ups for the big race. You will start to see cheerleaders and teammates who you never noticed before, because you were so fixated on the finish that you couldn’t appreciate your support team who was there all along. In the end, your success will be built by you, and you should be able to proudly reflect each and every day about the plans, actions and people who helped you get to the finish line.