Enduring Success


My parents, sister and I love to exercise. So, it was no surprise that while sharing a hotel suite on vacation, we pushed the living room furniture against the walls, and did an Insanity workout together.

I happen to have diminished capacity in one of my muscles, so during one of the exercises, my sister said to me, “These must be hard for you.”

Though she was simply being considerate, I could have used those words as an excuse to sit that exercise out.

I’ve always been aware that I’m not able to do this certain exercise as powerfully as her, but I’ve never given it much more thought than that. I’ve always done it the best I can, with other muscles compensating.  Doing this exercise in a less powerful way does not take away from the fact that I am still building strength and endurance.

This experience made me think of how congruent it is to many things in life. No matter where you go, there will always be someone who is stronger than you, has more money than you, is smarter than you, quicker than you, and has more time than you.  When things get tough, it can be really easy to sit back and say, why bother?

The answer to that is, no matter what level of capacity you are able to do something,  as long as you are not stationary, you are building strength and endurance.

Each time we try something new, we become a little bit wiser, a little more confident to try the next thing, and with that, our joy and quality of life increases. There will always be experiences that don’t bring us joy in and of themselves, but its the lessons we learn from these experiences, and the confidence we gain, that brings us joy.

My son, Wil, has low muscle tone, which is common in people with Down syndrome. Its simply a fact he will not be the fastest runner in his gym class. He will most likely be the slowest runner throughout his school years. Does this mean he shouldn’t run? To the contrary. Because of his low tone, performing functional tasks are more difficult and tiring for him. If he remains stationary, he will have a multitude of problems as he grows older if he doesn’t continue to build his strength.

Wil loves to run. Though he tires quickly, I’ve rarely seen him running without laughing. He pushes himself to do the best he can, and even though he runs out of steam before the other kids and comes in last, he is still enjoying himself, improving his strength, endurance and health. Each time he runs, he gets better than he was the day before.

With this attitude and drive, Wil is a success whether he finishes first or last.

Success is both an outward and inward concept. Success can be measured outwardly by how many races we’ve won, how much money we have, how many diplomas hang on our wall, and so on.

Success as an inward concept is something we all have the ability to achieve no matter what our abilities or place in life is. We have complete control over it, and it will grow depending on our perceptions of life’s challenges. We can have inward success with or without outward success, but outward success is rarely lasting without inward success.

We’ve all heard stories of how people who seemed to have it all, ended up losing themselves in drugs, alcohol or other types of destructive behaviors. They had outward success, but were lacking inward success.

People that have a strong inward success practically shine. You can feel and almost see their confidence, joy, and sense of well-being. Its not that those with inward success don’t also feel sorrow, pain and defeat, but they do not let it overcome them. They know that getting through these experiences will only strengthen them, and bring them more confidence and grace once this time has passed.

The only true, enduring success, is inward.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hughey06
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 17:36:41

    Reblogged this on hughey06's Blog.


  2. Traci
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 17:40:54

    Enjoyed your post and the statement that success must be balanced from without to within.


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