Can you be successful and lose?
Can you be unsuccessful and win?
In my view the answer to both questions above is yes!
It all depends on how you view success.
My favourite definition of success (unsurprisingly) comes from the late Coach John Wooden who defined it as:
The peace of mind which comes from knowing you've done the very best of which you're capable.
A couple of elements flow from that definition.
So what's your best?
Your best doesn't mean perfection! Perfection is impossible to achieve and can result in considerable delay and lost opportunity. Excellence is what we need to strive for.
Have you used all possible, practical resources?
Have you considered the options?
Have you committed to what's right - without concern for who's right?
Have you executed with passion and focus?
Have you acted with care and compassion for everyone involved in the project?
Does the result actually matter?
Yes, of course the result matters but not at all costs! Remember if winning is the sole consideration, then it opens us all up to the possibility of abandoning our good judgement - often with dire consequences.
Things will generally work out as they should.
In the long run, if we have done the very best of which we're capable and held ourselves to high standards of conduct I believe things will, in the long run, work out as they should.
If we've done our best work and been ethical about it, then I recommend we don't worry too much about the outcome. Worrying about outcomes too much can mean that we make decisions to please others, to raise our standing, to avoid criticism or to avoid taking a necessary risk.
If you can look back on a piece of work or project and know that it represented your best then rest easy.
Your very best is truly all that can be asked of you. If you commit to this consistently, things will generally work out as they should and you'll be successful.
My best, and to your success.
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