Everyday I seek something. What it is or how to define it – I am unsure.
I think it boils down to the idea of success…in all things. Really this idea is vague, obtuse, and in some people’s eyes unobtainable. In some ways like seeking perfection – idealistic. Yet, my quest remains…
I believe the concept of success and achievement are at the front of the minds of leaders, coaches, and teachers the world over – or at least they should be. How we know when we have gotten there is another debate (perhaps for another blog). Lily Tomlin’s assertion that the “road to success is always under construction,” speaks to me in many ways – not the least of which is that Regina streets should be very successful, but I digress. This week I have come across some great resources and thoughts around this idea of success seeking – not just in the world of education, but in sport and business. As a teacher, I understand that one of my roles is to help students learn about success by achieving it and not simply in an academic sense.
In my office, I have this poem up on the wall and I read it often and try to share it with students whenever I can. The audio here was in the movie “Coach Carter” and I love it!
I am moved by inspiring messages and I want students to be moved too…regardless of the format.
Seth Godin was on a role again this week and had a couple of posts that related to this idea of success and the process of achieving success or not. (I feel like I am visiting Seth’s blog/twitterfeed all of the time and love the way he thinks…!)
The first post that I will look at, “After you’ve done your best” discusses our reaction to perceived lack of success and our reactions to it. A key point he makes is that assuming we have truly done our best at something that “(l)earning from a failure is critical. Connecting effort with failure at an emotional level is crippling. After all, we’ve already agreed you did your best.” This idea that failure is fatal prevents many from taking risks and indeed achieving long term success. Godin goes on to say that, “(s)uccessful people analytically figure out what didn’t work and redefine what their best work will be in the future. And then they get back to work.”
I think this is an idea that all of us can learn is that mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn from if we have done our best (I know I have said this before – I must be right if Seth agrees :-) ).
The second post that I really enjoyed was entitled, “Worth It,” and I will paste the entire thing below as it is short:
That’s a question you hear a lot. “Was it worth it?”
Not certain what either “it” refers to, but generally we’re saying, “was the destination worth the journey? Was the effort worth the reward?”
The thing about effort is that effort is its own reward if you allow it to be.
So the answer can always be “yes” if you let it.
The concept of the journey being the reward is one that I have often used with teams I have coached. Setting up success to be – simply winning the last game can make the destination and winning – hollow.