Thank God it’s Fundamental Friday. This weekly article will venture into the fundamental elements of a variety of aspects of our lives and present the questions to us all, “Are we fundamentally sound?”
Success: The fundamental word for this Friday.
Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. The key word in this statement is accomplishment. When we discuss what success is, we must include our aim or purpose. Without aim or purpose, we cannot be or determine if we have obtained any manner of success. The aim, goal and/or purpose each person has should be a defined by that individual and not based on the aim, goal, and purpose of others.
Many youth track coaches use a stair step phase define goals for young track athletes which helps with the measurement of success. Initially, a baseline or initial point must be obtained for comparison and measurements. Goals are set based on this initial baseline. Instead of creating an end of the year goal, weekly goals our established which creates opportunities for success as each athlete strives for improving and obtaining their “Personal Best” or “Personal Record.”
This is commonly known as the athletes “PR.” It is these weekly goals that create steps into eventually obtaining a successful track season.
These goals for the youth track athlete are based on each individual youth. An honest and carefully established baseline gives both the coach and the athlete a realistic starting point based on the where the athlete is. By shifting the focus solely on each individual athlete, each athlete’s success is based on their ability to improve from their initial marks. In this process, success is measured throughout the season in a method that allows each athlete to strive for improvement that is obtainable.
In our daily lives, we are exposed to this type of measurement that allows us to celebrate milestones of success as we move closer to obtaining an ultimate goal. Education is measured in levels we refer to as grades. From kindergarten to graduating high school, each grade is filled with daily or weekly opportunities to be successful and at the end of the year, promotion to the next grade (level) is the success the student, his parents and his teachers hope for.
This process continues for those that elect to continue their education in the collegiate arena. The levels are being a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. The degrees begin at the associate level (for those that attend junior or community college) and can eventually lead to one obtaining bachelors, masters and doctorate diplomas.
These same steps can be found in most jobs, especially government (local, city, state and federal). The federal government has G (or E) levels with 10 to 12 steps at each level. Sometimes the steps are in the title of the jobs such as laborer, maintenance worker, crew leader, former (supervisor), and superintendent. There are those that are separated by I, II, III which then move to Senior and finally Principal. Clearly, we have images and examples of setting milestone goals all around us.
Although both the youth track athlete, the education system and the employment arenas present excellent examples of how we can set milestones to obtain our goals and purpose in phases, somehow when it comes to measurement success, these phases are not implemented. Instead, we allow others to give us some grandiose goal, that they themselves or someone else has obtained and shifted our aim and purpose from who we are to what someone else has accomplished.
This type of aim or purpose is not healthy because we ignore our God-given talents and gifts by focusing on the results of someone else success without truly grasping what those individual talents are and what milestones that individual reached before we see their final results.
Our accomplishment can definitely be measured on the athletic field, in the classroom and at work. However, our success in life must take into consideration where we are in conjunction with what God has given us in talent and gifts. We must be intentionally establishing our aim and purpose based on who we are and not what the next person has accomplished.
As an athlete, my greatest influence in respecting athletes in the track and field arena is witnessing young athlete improve their times in running events on phase at a time. I observed athletes gradually improved the field event marks over time. These athletes have to work hard in the face of competing with the same individual week in and week out that they would lose to. Clearly, success is found not in failure, but in working hard after each failure to improve.
Similarly, in life, our successes cannot be measured by other and will come after failures. The key is to set a milestone, work hard and never quit. Success is always one failure away. We just have to persevere through competing against the athlete that seems to always beat us, or put in the time to get to the next position are work, or study and earn the next degree in our educational lives.
As a fundamental principle, success is like eating an elephant, we must take one bite at a time or can we say, obtain one milestone at a time until we have reached the ultimate goal. As we accomplish each milestone, the world we see our successes and marvel, but we must know that this our only milestone (stepping stone) and continue to work hard until we reach the ultimate goal and at the point, we can say, “I am successful.”
I urge us all to define success for ourselves, create a roadmap of milestones and then execute a plan to obtain each milestone regardless of what others are doing. Take time to know yourself and let God guide you down your personal path that leads to your success. The fundamental importance of success is continuing in the midst of what many might call failures, but for us, they are a mere stepping stone to reaching our next milestone which leads to our Personal Record.
Fundamentally, we must realize that we must define success for ourselves. Once defined, our aim and purpose have to view in milestones that lead to obtaining the ultimate goal which we call success. Remember, our success is a fundamental element in life that must be defined by ourselves.
Until next week, be prepared to answer the question, “Are you fundamentally sound?” with the resounding yes and here are my successes which demonstrate my fundamental soundness.