Recently, I came across the story of Helen Hayes, the American Actress, one of two women to have received all four entertainment awards; Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. She said her mother drew a distinction between achievement and success and advised her to pursue achievement rather than success.
This she said because “achievement is the knowledge that you have studied, worked hard and done the best that is in you while success is being praised by others, and that’s nice too, but not as important or satisfying.” Always aim for achievement and forget about success, the mother said.
The word success often brings to mind the picture of someone who lives in a mansion in Dubai, own properties in Manhattan NY, drives a Ferrari or Lamborghini and has loads of cash stashed in Swiss bank accounts. But the reality is that success is a very relative terminology as it means different things to different people.
To one, success could mean having a university degree, winning a medal at the Olympics, being a great parent, living in the city or having a well paying job. To another, it could mean becoming the president of a nation, running a local business, supporting social causes, being a good husband or wife.
All these are wonderful and beautiful but in my opinion they shouldn’t be our only driving force. For me, I believe that success should come as a fruit or an offshoot of being happy, content, dutiful and grateful for the little yet important things of life.
Achievement is a step in that direction. It is that deep inward satisfaction that you have done everything that is required and in your own power to create a magic moment for yourself – your own success. It is preparing for an opportunity that you’re yet to see in readiness for when it finally shows up. It is being happy, content and thankful to God for what you have and where you are while trusting Him for more.
Nonetheless, whatever success mean to you and, however, you’re exercising your sense of achievement, be sure not to chase after success at the detriment of more important things of life.