How do we define success?, by Lorie Sheffer, guest blogger

Photo: Lorie Sheffer
Ben Franklin atop Philadelphia City Hall (left), One Liberty Place (right) (Photo: Lorie Sheffer)

How do we define success? Not many of us would argue that the wealthiest among us have achieved financial success. The term “successful business man” has been around much longer than the name Donald Trump, “successful actor” longer than the name Tom Hanks. Oprah Winfey is, by all accounts, one of the most successful women in America.

What about the single mother who works two jobs and is raising well-mannered, respectful children? What about the urban teenager who, contrary to stereotype, somehow manages to avoid trouble, graduate from high school and land a job as a custodian? Is the mechanic who works long hours to provide for his or her family a success? What about the person who beats addiction? Are the men who, in spite of all kinds of nasty weather, collect our trash from the curb considered successful? Is the father who has to rely on food stamps to help feed his family a success because his children have food in their bellies? How about that 300-pound woman who finally manages to walk around the block? The agoraphobic who steps outside of their home and walks to the mailbox?

Are we considered a success only if we win, or are we successful if we have the guts to at least try?

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.