Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Succeeding at Life


It’s said there are three ways to get to the top of a tree: climb it, sit on an acorn or make friends with a big bird. But without too much imagination I can think of a couple of other ways – like one that involves a parachute and a poor landing.

However, the point is still well taken: getting to the top of that organization or reaching a new height requires effort. And it is taken for granted that reaching the top is exactly what everyone wants to do. After all, isn’t that what “success” is all about? More power? More money? Reaching the top?

But what about success at living – trying to get it right this go around?

Success at this thing we call living has always been important to me. And climbing to the top of a tree has never been a good metaphor for it. I like to think more about the word “priorities.” Getting some basic priorities in order is key. And I know that if one’s life can be organized around solid priorities, then a full and worthwhile life will be the result.

It is always risky to use sports illustrations; they just don’t speak to everyone. But let me forge ahead with an oft-quoted statement by American football coaching legend Vince Lombardi. He is remembered for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And Lombardi’s dream was certainly to coach winning teams, but it’s a mistake to think that climbing to the top of football’s ladder of success was his greatest goal. He believed it was more important to succeed at life than at his career or anything else.

Actually, winning football games was not “the only thing” to Lombardi. He once actually listed his life priorities in this order: God, his family and his career.

He knew what was important. And he knew that keeping his priorities straight could bring him joy, peace and, ultimately, success at life. Which is probably the only thing that truly matters.

-- Steve Goodier

image: flickr.com/Jim Bowen

3 comments:

Lucy said...

Merry Christmas, Steven

Every time when I lost way in my life, it is the article that direct me the right way to advance. There are a number of temptation in our life, we are attacted to climb the top of the tree in our carrer.However, I do have to value weather the climbing is worthwhile and what the priority is in our life.

Heidi said...

Success by today's standards generally equals money and status, and I have known many who fit into those shoes perfectly, but I would not trade lives with any of them.
I do not believe we were placed on this good Earth to acquire things and fluff our financial feathers to others to prove our worth. In this great quest for money people really have lost touch with basic understandings and instincts of life, and to me that's very sad.

Homely Guy said...

Merry Christmas to you, Steve!

I always enjoyed your articles and would re-post those that i enjoyed very much on my blog, so next time when i need a direction in life, i can come back and read them again.

Your articles never fail to inspire and encourage me in my life.

Cheers :)