Measuring Success

Success is what you make it

Never measure yourself by what others do! I know people who do bigger, longer more exciting things than me. I know people who are more creative and have different lifestyles to me. So, what.

What’s important to me and me alone is that I have the experience I’m looking for in the environment I choose. What I struggle with is people saying you can’t do that because, you haven’t got the right gear (how do they know what I’m comfortable in), or it’s not possible for you (who are they to say what’s possible for me to do). If I set out to do something, I do it on my terms, and as long as I learn from it, then that in my book is a complete success.

Don’t question what your doing – Question why your doing it

I question myself constantly – am I making the most of my time, the opportunities I have, and the potential within me. Am I doing the same as everyone else, or am I true to my word and living an outward looking adventurous lifestyle? It’s a very bad thing to measure myself against the top adventurers, I’m never going to achieve some of the things they have done. Does that matter?

This is a dangerous game, and one which I roll the dice on way too many times.

I will never be as fit or able to climb as some of the people I read about. Does that mean I should stop and forget about climbing hills or exploring around my corner?  What if I flipped that over and used them as an incentive, something to aim for, do whatever I can to get in the same mindset as them, and narrow the gap so that, when I’m done, I can look back and say what a great ride?

Be the success you want to be

I haven’t got any answers, everyone is different and must walk their own path to success. But I know making out that I’m a hopeless case just because I don’t climb the highest mountain, or sail across the widest ocean is a complete nonsense, and will only lead to closed doors.

So where to start to get over this hump – sometimes the simple act of writing things down, helps to put things in focus.

  • What is your definition of success?
  • How will you track and measure that success?
  • What do you want to do with it?

The only person in the whole world we should be competing against is ourselves. Make the most of everything that comes your way, don’t let others or society dictate how and when you should do something.

Think about;

  • What matters to you?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What does success look and feel like?
  • Do you need to do any more than you’re doing?
  • Are you content to achieve what you need to?

Remember what it is you’re measuring against, it will help make you feel right about what you’re doing and where you’re going.

The more I do – The more is made possible

Often once I’ve completed a trip, looking back it feels like not too much effort and a simple thing to do. But that’s just because I’ve learnt something or achieved a goal, and the next thing, which although may be bigger, longer or more difficult doesn’t look so impossible to achieve. If we don’t take time to reflect on what we’ve achieved, we never notice how much we are progressing.

If you, like me, prefer your own company – take time to pause and reflect on just how far you’ve come, and what you’ve achieved. I promise you’ll be surprised. We can all be too hard on ourselves at times. It’s progress we need to measure, not success.

Define your own version of success

Think carefully about how you define success. Don’t measure yourself by someone else’s success. Just because their going forwards doesn’t mean you’re going backwards.

I love adventure in all its shapes and sizes. If I measure my adventures against Edmund Hillary then, what a failure I am.

I quite like sailing. If I measure my success against Ben Ainsley or Ellen Mcarthur, then once again – I’m not really much good at it.

Sensible painters or musicians do not compare themselves to Da Vinci or Mozart. Nor should we.

If I measure myself against where I’ve come from, against what I thought may be possible a few years ago – then yes I’m successful and I have achieved my goals.

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