My Greatest Success, My Greatest Failure
At my last Toastmasters meeting, during the Table Topics, I was asked to talk about my greatest success and my greatest failure.
After thinking about it for a few seconds, this is (close to) what I said.
My Greatest Success
We all have things in life that we want to accomplish.
We each have goals, hopes and dreams.
Any self-help guru can tell us to carpe diem, to seize the day.
But what does that really mean? What does it mean to seize the day?
My greatest success came the day I decided to take my own future into my hands and take responsibility for myself.
My greatest success came the day I told myself I was worthy of pursuing my dreams, and when I told myself I was in charge.
Is every day perfect?
Far from it. But the results are my own because my choices are my own.
My greatest success is in realizing my life isn't like a sailboat being tossed anywhere the wind chooses. We control our own destiny if we're willing to step up to the plate, make our own choices, and take control of our results.
My Greatest Failure
Similarly, my greatest failure, or failures I should say, were the times I turned over my future to someone else.
See, I've been fired and laid off, I've quit jobs and changed companies – each time placing my future and the future of my family into the hands of another person or company.
I firmly believe that no one will ever take your success as seriously as you do.
We are meant to live our lives with our heads held high, not being brow-beaten by someone who only cares for himself.
Each time I pushed my true self down to appease someone else, I was living out my failures.
So, what is my greatest success?
When I realized I was in charge.
What is my greatest failure?
When I forgot.