Success’ comes in all shapes and sizes and should be without an absolute definition because ultimately, what matters most in life, is that we can fulfil our own potential and meet our own unique objectives.
While it can be tempting to compare our achievements to those of our peers, the truly individual experience of life tells us that this is a pointless and even painful road to walk. Ahead of year’s end, this is the time for reflection – to look back on the course of this year and to allow yourself, with grace and humility at heart, to celebrate what you are proud of, remembering that success need not only be synonymous with grades or awards, but rather anchored in the everyday achievements – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Growth and self-esteem are linked to us allowing ourselves to develop a healthy understanding of what success means to us. This is an excellent perspective based exercise that has merit and value all throughout life.
To get you started, here are some prompts that may help with your walk down memory lane. From hereon in, perhaps spend a day a week reflecting on what you enjoyed about the week and where you found purpose and pride in your achievements. This is about taking a beautiful ‘big picture’ approach to your life with all of the little details contributing to this picture.
- Supporting and loving our friends and family: it is impossible to overstate the impression one single act of kindness or compassion can have on someone in need. This is about Te Mana Whakahaere – mutual empowerment. Maintaining focus on our interconnectedness with others – particularly those whose lives we touch and transform – is a wonderful success we can live over and over again.
- Taking a self-disciplined approach to planning your study: it’s an understandable feeling to want to sprint to the finish line of a project or examination without enjoying the journey. But unless you pause for reflection along the way, you will bypass all of the mini milestones that can be equally rewarding. Organising your week and dividing it up into small goals is a great way to feel like you are always achieving and can also reduce the feeling of burden that often comes with large volumes of work.
- Celebrating extra-curricular activity commitments: God has blessed each and every one of us with a gift. From volunteering initiatives, public speaking and problem solving through to performing arts, sport and music, we each have a special talent that deserves to be honed and honoured. Regardless of how many times you have fallen and found it hard to pick yourself up again, take stock of all of the times you persevered when you wanted to give up, and remember have far you have come this year with your special gift. Just as God is at work in an unfolding, unfinished universe, our talents are also ever-evolving.
It’s always important to remember that success is not defined by having climbed the mountain, rather it is something we experience and can enjoy while climbing it.