What Is Success?

9 06 2009
“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” – Logan Pearsall Smith
How will you define success?
Webster’s New World Thesaurus said…fortune, good luck, achievement, gain, benefit, prosperity, victory, advance, attainment, progress, profit, end, completion, triumph, conclusion, accomplishment.
Each of us can give various interpretations for this word depending in one’s need and situation. For a businessman, it means closing up a deal, for a runner it means finishing a race or beating previous PR, for a cager it means making the last basket for a win, a blockbuster movie for an actor, knocking out an opponent for a boxer, passing a difficult exam for a student, checkmating a rival for a chess player and so on and so forth.
When I was still a kid, I can still recall the hardships of my parents just to raise me up. Having a food on the table was indeed a big achievement for those days and wearing a dependable shoes in going to school was a luxury already. For in fact, my shoes were defective, too old and out of style-yet my parents cannot afford to buy me a new pair. I walked 4 kilometers in going to school very early in the morning and another 4 kilometers going back home for 6 straight years. (If only I was able to see the future then and know that I’ll become a runner today, I will run and not walk, maybe I’m an elite runner now hehehe)
During those difficult times, I’m always saying affirmative words to myself like, ‘someday I’ll buy plenty of branded shoes and there will always be food at the table.’ For me then, that’s a big deal and to achieve that, it means I’m a successful indeed.
For some, my story was shallow and exaggerated but to tell you honestly-those hardships were my stepping stones.
Why not ask a beggar what is success? He will tell you that to only have food on their table; a paralyzed man and for him to be able to walk again; a cancer patient just to live another day; a blind lady-just to see; an epileptic-to live a normal life; a mongoloid-that no one will tease them …
I will end up with this powerful illustration about success:
In 1923, a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at a Chicago Hotel. Among those present were;
-the President of the largest independent steel company in the world
-the President of the largest utility company
-the most successful commodity speculator
-the President of the New York Stock Exchange
-the President of the Bank of International Settlements, and
-the Head of the world’s greatest monopoly at that time.
Together, these tycoons of the business world controlled more wealth than the Treasury of the U.S. For years the media had been printing and talking about the success stories of these wealthy men. They had been held up as examples for all to follow, specially the youth. These men were at the very pinnacle of success in their world.
What happened 25 years later?
-Charles Schwab was the President of the largest independent steel company of the world. After 25 years, He was living on borrowed money and died penniless. Incidentally, he was the first man in American history to draw an annual salary of $1 million.

-Arthur Cutten, the most successful commodity speculator, died abroad in dire poverty.

-Richard Whitney, the President of the New York Stock Exchange was sentenced to serve a term in prison.

-Leon Fraser, the President of the Bank of International Settlements ended his life by committing suicide.

-Ivan Kreuger, the Head of the world’s greatest monopoly put an end to the misery of his life by committing suicide too.

-Albert Fall, who was a member of the President’s Cabinet was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.

All of these men, considered at one time the very epitome of success, had learned how to make money- and lot’s of it! I”m sure they saved, studied, worked long hours, disciplined themselves and set their goals to reach the top of their chosen fields, but in the final analysis, not one of them really learned how to live.

Life is much more than accumulating riches or material things.

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.

By the way, my childhood’s dream came true…for now, there’s always food on the table and I have galore of running shoes. I am not rich in terms of wealth and material possessions but I achieved what I wanted, and that’s for me is a success already…’right living with contentment is a great gain.’

God be Praised!

“What will profit a man, though he gains the whole world but lost his own soul? What will he give in exchange for his soul?” -Gospel




7 responses

9 06 2009
What Is Success?

[…] Original post by runnerforchrist […]

10 06 2009

Wow–what a statement this post makes! As the quote goes, “success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.” Neither serve as a measure of what we’ll be tomorrow. So our only standard, our only hope is in Jesus. Failures and successes matter little to Him, but rather, what comes from the heart, the love we share for His glory!
Thanks for this great post and a lesson from history!! Blessings, Linda

10 06 2009

that’s true! be simple and keep things simple, however, the simplest plan/idea is the hardest thing to do. keep it up, ronnie!

10 06 2009

Ronnie, reading this will hopefully make all of us aware. The list that you showed tells it all.

Thanks for sharing the post. Take care and God bless as always! – Wayne

10 06 2009

I’m soo in love with your writing skills classmate- haha…

Thank you for sharing your own story as well. My Dad can relate to it thats why he worked hard while in the USN to better himself and his future family- thats us! He is now enjoying his full retirement back home- we miss him here. Whatever material things I may have right now, I owe it all from him.

Hope to catch you online sometime. Take care!

2 09 2009
Bill Bartmann

Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂

9 09 2009
Bill Bartmann

Cool site, love the info.

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