How Do You Define Success?

By Rob Moorhead, IPLI Mentor, South Ripley Schools

As the calendar turns to April, we have reached the end of March Madness.  And what a month of madness it was in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tourney.  For the first time ever, the Final Four does not include any of the top three seeds from any region.

When the tourney began 68 teams were all looking for that trip to the Final Four with a chance to become the national champions.  So what does that mean for the other 64 teams?  Were their seasons now considered unsuccessful?  I guess that depends on how those teams define success.

This brings me to a question that each one of us has to face for ourselves.  What is success and how will you know when you have it?  Famous athlete Tim Tebow says this about success, Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame.  It comes from having meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do.  That’s having a life of success.”

I like Tim Tebow’s definition and believe that sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be.  I believe that we can find success and we can help our students find success by following a simple phrase that we emphasize every day at South Ripley as a C.L.A.S.S. school, “Do the right thing. Treat people right.” 

To further help our school staff simplify and stay focused, we have been doing a One Word Challenge at South Ripley the last several years.  We have asked our staff to choose just one word that they will focus on and commit to living with intentionality each day.  The idea is that by doing this, they will be functioning at their individual best which will in turn help our students achieve success.

A couple of years ago my One Word was Grit.  Author Jon Gordon has this to say about Grit: “GRIT comes from who you are on the inside.  Your work, leadership and mission are too important to allow others to define your destiny.  No matter what anyone says, just show up every day and do the work.  If they praise you, show up and do the work.  If they criticize you, show up and do the work.  If no one even notices, just show up and do the work.  Just keep showing up, doing the work and leading the way.  Have faith.  Maintain hope.  Be stubborn.  Fight the good fight.  Refuse to give up.  Ignore the critics.  Believe in the impossible.  Show up.  Do the work.  You’ll be glad you did.  True grit leads to true success.”

As building principals I encourage you to follow these words from Jon Gordon as you strive for success each day.  Just remember to keep it simple.  Show up.  Do the Work.  Get Better.  Stay Positive.  Do the right thing. Treat people right.  Keep pushing every day.  If you just do those simple things, you’ll be amazed at where that gets you in life. Your life will have meaning, and you will have a life of success. You have chosen the best profession to make a difference in the lives of others and to help shape the next generation.  Keep showing your passion and loving what you do and you are on the road to true success.