I heard recently that one of the reasons Lance Armstrong is an exceptional athlete is purely genetic — his body pumps three times as much blood per minute as yours or mine. He has a genetic superiority that makes his performance uncommon.
So I can ride, I can train, I can lift weights, I can eat only protein….but I'll never, ever, ride like Lance. I can live strong and be strong, but not as strong as him!
Sometimes success is elusive or difficult….like mastering a skill, achieving a goal, conquering a milestone. And some are impossible due to a physical, mental, or emotional barrier. But redefining success can mean achieving something else equally important.
Years ago I got into orienteering, a rather obscure sport that combines hiking with mapreading. You basically work with a very rough topographical map and compass to find your way from one spot to another and then back again. These are generally areas without groomed trails so you're reading the map, reading your surroundings, watching the position of the sun to estimate time, etc..
I really stunk at orienteering. I would eventually get from A to B and back to A again but I wasn't improving my time and mastering all the skills necessary to be successful.
Was it a waste of time? No. I did achieve some things. I saw land that many people wouldn't because it was literally off the beaten path. I got a sense of direction I lacked in the past. And I got to know some cool people as I worked my way from here to there.
Was I successful? Yes, I was, because I now have a keener sense of where I am and how to get from here to there. I'd still be someone who used left and right and told people to turn at an old Amoco station rather than to head east 2.5 miles then turn north on an old dirt road. And, after nearly an hour of being lost and asking for directions, I was able to take the wheel and get a tired band of travelers out of Dublin and to a castle in the Irish countryside.
So when you read about someone succeeding or not in a business powered by Quixtar, consider that success isn't always defined by the obvious — there may be gains that aren't so visible to the naked eye but that are precious to those who achieved them.