Before his death last year, respected businessman Tony Hsieh once defined success as “being okay with losing everything you have.” He died a single man a few years later at 46 as a multimillionaire and pioneer of online shoe sales.
I’ve recently pondered his definition. I like and mostly agree with it. But I would not be okay losing my wife and children. I would be devastated. I suppose I could come to accept it in time and try the best I could to move on. But it sure would break me for a long time.
As a writer, I would not be okay losing my hands or voice, which would prevent me from typing or dictating my thoughts. But I’d like to think I would be capable of reinventing myself and using my inquisitive talents in other ways.
Perhaps that’s what Hsieh meant by success. A living person that is capable of finding new meaning and contributing in new ways at any point of their life.
But I believe success can and should be so much more than that. If anything I would hope that when I’m gone, the world is a slightly better place, at least in my little village.
What do you think, kind reader?