The Simplicity of Success

I really wish the cliched photo of a human silhouette standing on a mountaintop or road with arms raised would cease to be the image to represent “success”. I keep seeing it on marketing materials and a quick google search for “success” turns up the same nonsense. It seems so 1990s Tony Robbins which works for some people, but not for me. All I can see, besides lack of imagination and following a tired marketing message is someone expressing their own greatness for having climbed a metaphorical mountain on their own. If that’s success then I’m an abysmal failure!

I have an alternative view of success. First of all, I don’t see people as BEING a success or failure. Whether or not a goal or standard is reached doesn’t define your value. Also, anyone who takes full credit for doing something 100% on their own lacks perspective and humility.

As an example, I worked my a** off to earn my Master’s degree, but without the 12 step alcohol recovery meetings I attended three times a day (Yup! Early morning, lunchtime and evening) and the grace of God I couldn’t have done it. No way could I have afforded the tuition without being awarded a graduate assistantship.

To me, success isn’t just something you can frame and hang on a wall. It’s in the down-to-earth triumphs we can experience throughout a day.

Some personal examples:

Wishy the Chipmunk sitting on vintage board game called "Happiness"

Finding joy in cheap yard sale finds like a 1970s board game.

Thurston Peters Sugar House Newfield Maine (4)

Knowing the size of my spirit is bigger than I am.

Late July Maine Gardening (1)

Finding all seven dwarfs.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pop Corn

Mastering making stove top popcorn in a vintage cast iron dutch oven instead of buying another junk air popper that will die within a year.

Apple Leaves Dead Leaves (6)

Squeezing every last bit out of fall, and not taking healthy, fresh food for granted.


Or dessert purchased from a local ice cream truck, especially when it’s organic maple syrup soft serve with potato chip topping on a gluten-free cone.

19th Century Curran Homestead at Newfield (5)

Being married to my best friend who enjoys zany backroad adventures as much as I do.


Being someone’s hero.


Feeling triumphant about living a simple life and having the ability to live that dream.

How do you define success?




6 thoughts on “The Simplicity of Success

  1. Being happily married this year for 49 years. But better yet meeting my wife and dating her at the ages of 15 and 16. I never got rich or famous but that really does not matter as I have had a marriage few people enjoy today for all these years. Don’t get me wrong as with all of us life is not easy and can and has been tough. But with the right person at your side it gives you support and comfort.

    This has been my success. .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My husband and I were just talking about this subject! But it was in reference to the worship services in the churches we’ve been in.
    They use power points with a person in worship on a mountaintop. We joked about how they should really be of people in the shower, the car, vacuuming, and flipping burgers on the backyard barbecue. 😂
    Thank you, Averyl, for keeping gratitude and success real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vienna, for appreciating that I keep things real. That’s funny that you had a similar conversation and that’s an interesting example!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully defined success!! I wish I lived closer to Maine. I’d ask if you’d like to go on a thrifting excursion together! (Tennessee has great “rummage sales,” as we call them, but so many things smell of smoke. Yuck! It makes shopping for something specific more challenging.) I define personal success as long-term willpower in certain areas of my life, like my physical and emotional health. The ability (and the Lord’s grace, of course) to make better decisions than other dysfunctional family members!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Heather! We also call them rummage, white elephant, estate, garage and yard sales, but it’s dependent on who is sponsoring it. It’s usually the churches that call them rummage or white elephant. Re smoke, it’s nearly impossible to get the smell out so I stay away from anything smokey, yuck! I agree with you about long-term willpower as well as sticking to your guns!


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