Everyone wants success, right? One of the definitions I found in the dictionary is, “the gaining of wealth and fame.” I suspect that is the interpretation most people put on success. The other two definitions I found are, “favorable or desired outcome” and “one that succeeds.” Most people who have achieved the “gaining of wealth and fame” are what we think of as a success.
This year I accomplished the publishing of my book, “Dangerous to Love” in both e book and print. So I would argue that the “favorable or desired outcome” is by far the most important definition. When I was growing up my father always grew a large garden. It was beautiful, with straight rows devoid of weeds and hoed to perfection. I was drafted to help with this and while I would rather have curled up with a good book somewhere, there was always a feeling of satisfaction to look back on a row and observe what a good job I had done. I had done it. It didn’t just happen to be that way and nobody helped me, I did it myself. I felt the same way when I learned to sew and to cook or turned in a particularly well done homework assignment. Of course, at the time I didn’t think about it as success but just that I had done a good job.
When I began to write, it never occurred to me that I would ever publish anything. As time went on I began to think maybe I could after all. It was a long learning curve to write a book. When I was finished I had to decide if I was going to publish it myself or depend on getting an agent or editor. I decided to go with self publishing even though I knew there was a lot involved. You have to understand I am not a techie, I face my computer every day like we are adversaries. It took me several months. The only part I had done for me was the cover and I got a wonderful one from cover artist and romance writer, Kimberly Van Meter. When it was done and I finally looked at it on my computer screen on Amazon it was a truly magical moment. I had achieved the “desired outcome.”
I don’t expect to achieve wealth and fame, but I am a success. I had a dream and a goal and I did it myself. My husband and my family encouraged me but I was the one that had to do it. Am I happy? Yes, I am. Am I proud? You bet, I am. But the success of accomplishment has another gift it brings with it — confidence. If you achieve a goal, even a small one, it gives you a feeling of self empowerment to go on to the next one. Finally, you reach for the big one. For me that was writing and publishing a book. Now I am into writing my second book and when I hit writer’s block or it just doesn’t read right I will cling to my confidence that I did it once and I can do it again.
How much happier we can all be if we think of success in terms not of material gain but in terms of accomplishment of our dreams.