Success: Develop your character so that you are a person of integrity. Peter Cain

Dear Reader,

Definitions for success is a dime a dozen. This definition is not the same for everyone, but what really matters is not so much the definition, but the criteria YOU use to measure your success.

The best way to determine how you will measure success, is to establish your core values – the foundation of who you are and the underlying motivation for the choices you make in life.

Looking back over my life I know that my most important core value is honesty and integrity. “She always lived with integrity” is the phrase I would want people to remember me by.

Being retrenched after 17 years with the same company came as a huge shock! But being told by my manager that he sees me as a person with integrity meant the world to me. This is how I know I have made an impact and my career with this company was still a success!

My mom always used to tell me how as a young child I had my heart set on walking on stilts. And not only nailing the skill – but I wanted to walk right around our house. This is my second value – persistence. I’ve practiced for days and weeks until I’ve finally accomplished my goal. This little story become the symbol for my second core value – never give up! Looking back over my life I can see how this character trait shaped me to become the unique person I am today.

Life is about obstacles or challenges (depending on your point of view). And it is this never-give-up mentality that kept me going all my life. From having to adjust to wearing hearing aids at the age of 10 in a new school, battling depression at age 16 due to social isolation caused by my hearing disability
and facing the unique challenges of managing with a hearing disability in the workplace. And of course, the constant financial implications of maintaining and buying new hearing aids (every 5 – 8 years).

For me success is about caring for others and making a difference. It means being there for a friend in need – by just listening or a shoulder to cry on. Or sometimes asking them over to visit and just be silly and laughing together when they go through a hard time. It is about taking an interest in their life and staying in touch. And sharing messages and articles that we know can be helpful to them.

But even more than my friends, I treasure my family. They are the ones who shaped me and supported me through my life. We share so many happy – and later also sad memories together. So many happy times, like Christmas and birthdays. And the everyday little memories of growing up in a happy home.

As time passes and we grow older, eventually we also shared the loss of our father and my sister’s husband – both taken from us through cancer. Now we are walking this same path again with my mom.

Sometimes life get busy and we move apart, but when the hard time comes, we will draw closer again, and our little family unit will help and support each other once again. Even if it is only small things like washing the dishes or helping to hang the washing. All these little things show that you care.

Life is hard and unpredictable and sometimes very scary. But I must live with honesty and integrity and never give up. And always keep on helping and making a difference in the life of the people I care about.

What does success mean to YOU? Please share with us in the comments.

Thanks for Reading!


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