F.O.C.U.S.: S is for Success
by Thad Burkamper
August 22, 2019

 I’m running a race, and I’m winning
 The thrill of the gold is beginning
 The finish-line nears
 I hear hoots, chants, and cheers
 And the thought of a win has me spinning
 As I run a bit more, it sets in
 The weight that will come with the win
 I know what’s in store
 But, will I want to give more?
 Or will success and applause seem too thin?

 The fear of success is a very difficult fear to really understand and even more difficult to diagnose. You read that right. The fear of success. What portion of success could possibly stop someone from even attempting to attain their goals? To understand this concept, we have to take a big step back to a satellite view of the person as a whole and the prospect of life after succeeding.

 Regardless of the goal, whether it is to lose fifteen pounds or start a business, there is a sort of convention we’ve agreed upon as to how someone should feel once they’ve achieved it. Success should bring with it absolute victory and an opportunity to look at your accomplishment and smile saying, “I have built this, and I am fulfilled.” What happens, then, when the time and effort you’ve put in have changed you along the way, and that success does not fulfill? What if, when you reach that finish line, you realize that at some point in the race you redirected your gaze to a different goal, but finished the task at hand anyway? What if the goal you’d set out to achieve wasn’t answering the real need inside of you to begin with? Ho. Lee. Crap. Now we’re in deep.

 If you had set out to lose fifteen pounds, but in reality, it’s your self-esteem that needs attention, that fifteen pounds will not answer your need by itself. If you had decided to start a business, but you really just wanted the admiration of your family and friends, you’ll never feel fulfilled through your business. 

Success is not an end point. Life continues beyond it. So, Thad, what do we do?

 We have to realign our understanding of success. Success is not the finish line. Success is every step on our journey to the podium. Success is every overcome obstacle. Success is every nay-sayer proven wrong. Success is an attitude along the way. You will never reach success. You will, however, be able to cash in on success every single day that you’ve made one more step towards your goals. That is to say, when you understand that you’ll likely change as a person along the way and your goals will grow or change along with you.

 Keeping that in mind, if you then keep your eyes open to where you’re headed (even if that changes as you go) and continue to make progress each day, you are, in the moment, each moment, a success. 
Success then changes from a destination to a state of mind. From something to attain to a title you bestow on yourself. No boogie man, no criticism, no obstacle or failure has any hope of stopping you, let alone slowing you down, when you understand what success means, or who success is, in the long run.

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