I've been watching the Olympics. My husband asked me who I was rooting for in a competition. My answer may be strange, but I said that I was rooting for whoever was up at the moment. I had no favorites, I was cheering each journey as unique.
There is a teacher/speaker named Taylor Mali who talks about his role as a teacher. He says he can "make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face. (How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.)" I feel that the Olympians measure their success in much the same way. There is the athlete who feels they should have received gold, but earned a silver. Then there is the person no one expected to be in contention earning a medal, but ends up on the podium. For me, I love the story of Arthur Mariano who earned a bronze for his floor routine. His joy at winning bronze was so complete that it still brings tears to my eyes. I cheer for that person rather than the person who feels disgraced at winning the silver.
I watch the Olympics because the athletes gather together after years of hard work and sacrifice to live their dream. Their measures of success may be different, but from where I sit, they can all be called Olympians.
My goal is to be published. I am at it for hours and hours each day. I am a writer now working on becoming an author. May my first success be as exciting as Arthur's. May someday I feel that selling a 100,000 copies of a single book constitutes a failure. But may I never lose the joy of my craft just as the athletes should never lose the joy of their sport.
What will success look like for you?