Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Definition of Success

I have read hundreds of books and articles throughout my lifetime and tried to apply them to make the changes I wanted in my life. I would start with great enthusiasm then a month later find that I had stopped following the program with no changes having taken place. Then I would start the hunt for next book or program that I would use for my next attempt. Then I discovered how to make the programs work for me. This change helped me lose a 130 lbs from 298 to 168 and after just over 39 years of heavy drinking (alcoholic) to become a non-drinker rather than a recovering alcoholic as well as a number of other changes. Some changes are still ongoing.

The discovery was how I defined success. When I used someone else's definition of success; it just didn't work for me. The turnaround came when I was put into hospital with clinical depression for a 2 week program and during my stay they found out I was a Type 2 diabetic and told me that my drinking and weight would lead to some major complications such as amputation if I didn't die of a heart attack first. Talk about a major incentive to do something about my problems.

I had to change but nothing had worked before because my habits were so deeply ingrained. I sure had incentive and a vision; in this case one I didn't want. But I had incentive before and I couldn't make it work so what was I going to do? I had to do something different. So I decided to do something I was sure I could do; something small. I decided to work on my weight first and instead of having my two big meals a day I would eat 3 slightly smaller meals a day. After about a month of this I went to 4 slightly smaller meals and the next month to 5 meals a day. The sizes of the meals shrunk over time and I even found myself eating green leafy stuff and worse enjoying it. The difference was that I had set small goals that I could do and started to reprogram my habits and my attitude. I was finally successful in making a change I wanted. Over the next year I steadily lost weight, started eating better foods and learned to be successful in reaching goals.

The concept I used here is also used by ocean sailors. They have a destination to reach but know they will not be able to go in a direct path due to winds and ocean currents. So they continually adjust depending on conditions but will arrive at their chosen destination.

When you have chosen your goal after much consideration; use the same consideration in choosing your definition of success. Make sure it is doable and that you can have it often. Afterall success builds on success. To give you another example. In my About Me in my sidebar I state that I will consider myself successful with this blog if I help just 1 person. I believe this is achievable and so again I will be successful.

I am finding that the journey is far more enjoyable than arriving at the destination.


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4 conversations:

Bryan Baker said...

whoa, quite the story. thanks for sharing. hearing of your success is encouraging and motivational because what's possible for you is possible for others.

Kim said...

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you bryan and kim for your comments

seaside foreclosures said...

This is such a wonderful post and congratulations to you. I know what you did required determination but you finally made it.