Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Your Success Is In Your Progress


We all want to be successful in life. When we think of success, we think of achieving wealth, influence, power, and status. The more we have these in our lives, the more successful we will feel.

Earl Nightingale was one of the world’s renowned motivational speakers in the mid 20th century. He spoke extensively on human character development, motivation, and meaningful existence. In 1956 he produced an audio recording called The Strangest Secret. This became one of the most consumed audio records of all time, much before the world discovered the idea of a Podcast. 

In that audio recording, Earl Nightingale defines success in this manner – Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.

Essentially what this means is this. If you are working towards a worthy goal- something you are hungry to achieve no matter how difficult- every little step you take on the way to accomplishing that worthy goal is a sign of success.

I love this definition because it is all about taking action and progressing without getting confused with external markers like results, competition, benchmarking, etc.

An Illustration

Let me break this down through a practical example.

Imagine you are working in an Organization. You have this compelling desire(your worthy end goal) to become the Department Head where you get to define the strategy, lead your team, inspire and motivate your team to deliver outstanding results.

According to Earl’s definition, you are successful when you take action and progress towards making your worthy goal a reality.

  • You are successful when you take the lead on stretch assignments that others are shying away from taking.
  • You are successful when you observe your boss every day and learn the tricks of the trade.
  • You are successful when you make an effort to problem solve without asking for help.
  • You are successful when you learn from the mistakes you make in the process.
  • You are successful where you take accountability for your results without blaming circumstances or others.
  • You are successful when you apply for your boss’s job and don’t get it the first time.
  • You are also successful when you eventually get the role of the Department Head that you always wanted.

You are not successful only when you reach the milestone of becoming the Department Head. You are successful at every step of the way as long you do everything intentionally.

This logic applies to all facets of our lives. Being successful at school, learning an instrument, playing a sport, setting up your own business, or just becoming a fitter person.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal !!!

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