Day 1005: What is success?

I successfully wrote this, yesterday, on my white board during a therapy group:

What is success?

How would you define it?

Is success measured by celebrity? If so, I probably walked by several successes (including Mark and Donnie Wahlberg) last night, at the opening of Wahlburgers near Fenway Park.

Is success measured by recognition?

If so, yesterday I passed by some successful artists, featured in a poster on the door of a doctor’s office.


I had some success, yesterday,  using  new and unfamiliar diagnostic codes required by ICD-10 — the subject of that artistic and humorous  poster.

To make this post successful, I probably need to explain that ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking of successes, here‘s successful Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette introduced by the original star of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — the successful Robert Morse — and a later successful star of that same musical, Matthew Broderick.

Personally, I measure success by

  • how you treat others,
  • how you treat yourself,
  • doing as little harm as possible,
  • respecting living creatures,
  • balancing your needs with other people’s needs,
  • overcoming adversity,
  • acceptance,
  • letting go of judgment,
  • integrating and balancing the different parts of yourself,
  • kindness,
  • forgiveness,
  • honesty,
  • creating safety,
  • being in the moment, and
  • other qualities and behaviors which I’m not successfully remembering, right now.

Let’s see if I have any more successful photos on my successful phone.

My successful son and his successful mother have been a bit grumpy lately, as he’s been trying to successfully complete the college application process. Aaron was recently unpleasantly surprised by his cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) — a number that many say is all-important  for success. Because I see the whole picture of Aaron’s many academic and character successes, Aaron has been unsuccessful in convincing me that road-to-success colleges care only about that one, single number as THE measure of success.

Another day, another successful blog post.

As usual, how successful I was today depended upon many others,  including you — of course! –and your success in reading until the very end.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Day 1005: What is success?

  1. Ann I like your list of how you measure success. I have had the “success” discussion with many friends, we all measure it in different ways. IMHO this post was a successful post in my book! 🙂

  2. I’m with you Ann. Success is living up to our own ideals and values.
    Yep – this is a successful post 😄

  3. I like your list of measurements. I would add that for me it includes achieving to my own satisfaction what I set out to do.

  4. I like your list of measurements, and Derrick’s addition makes me think of Thoreau who set his own standard of success, who said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
    There’s a measure of success: your successful when you look back on your life and feel that you really lived.

  5. That’s a pretty good success list there Ann! ❤
    Diana xo

  6. Great list, Ann, and the Oz balloon accident made me smile. The clip from “How to Succeed” also made me remember the days when success in business involved a suit. Casual Friday changed all that. Too bad. Another successful post.

    From Ralph Waldo Emerson:
    “To laugh often and much;
    to win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children,
    to leave the world a better place,
    to know even one life has breathed easier
    because you have lived,
    this is to have succeeded.”

    • I was thinking of that Emerson quote, Van, but I didn’t succeed in getting it into this post. Success, now, thanks to you!

  7. I don’t who published that calendar, because it sure is not the measure of my success.

  8. Bo, get me my Friskies at this moment!!!

  9. Love the ICD10 artwork. What was once an easy thing to code such as Otitis Media 382.9, has become this enormous drag down list that makes my eyes go crossed and my mind do an information dump. AAARGH!!!!!

  10. Any university would benefit by taking Aaron. How enriching he’d be for all the other students, as well as successful in everything he does. All the years he has been earning those grades, he has also been making animations, songs and skits about his education and about the world. Like getting multiple educations at once.

    This is a very stressful time. Unfairly stressful. But he is going to shine. (PS. Can you convince him to apply to UBC while he is at it? Love to have him here. The weather is usually mild, too — a good place for you to visit. Just saying. No vested interest at all.)

  11. I vote for your successful phone photos. And your successful list of criteria for success. And your successful 1005th blog! And Aaron’s future successful enrolment in UBC because Maureen has absolutely (my word, not hers) “No vested interest at all.” Thanks for another successful romp in your corner of the universe!

  12. In the matter of goals: The true value of any achievement can only be measured by the level of struggle in attaining it.
    In the matter of successful living, I yield to Saint Teresa, the Little Flower: “Do small things with great love.”

  13. Your list is a big success with me, Ann. Aaron does have many successes that would earn college admission attention. I agree with you there. Besides, who wants to go to a college that only considers a high school GPA?

  14. Amber Danette

    You’re success Ann, and all People who know how to love. You must be more ofey (did I spell that right ?) With technology than I. I don’t even know what diagnostic codes are lol. And as For Your son, he’ll do just fine,when the time comes. At any rate,as the end of Your post says: it’s how you treat others ect that counts. XOX

    • It’s true, Amber — it’s how you treat others that counts. So that proves that this kind and considerate comment from you is a HUGE success. XOX.

  15. Pingback: Day 1006: It Takes Two | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  16. I like your measuring stick for life Ann.

  17. It is a shame that a young person’s sucess is so dependent on a score. I guess there has to be a universal weighing of results so that we can all be assessed. But there are many more facets to a person such as the ones you alluded to in your list and I suppose it is up to us to showcase them above the school score.

  18. Pingback: Day 1233: Take Care | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  19. Pingback: Day 2558: Success | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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