(This is part of an ongoing series of highlights from past Listen to Life newsletters.  Many readers and subscribers were not following when this came out.  Enjoy.)


“I’m excited about succeeding,” he said.  This came from one of my sons one day after I heard from another—his older brother—about his exciting plans for his business.  It was refreshing to hear their true enthusiasm for success.  But, isn’t everyone excited about succeeding?  Not really.

Most people enjoy the trappings of success, whether they are possessions or fame.  For many, success, the noun, is great, but the verb, succeeding, is too much work and too uncertain.  I believe that is what I enjoyed most about the calls with my sons.  They both were looking forward to the verb, the process of succeeding, including the failures, lessons,  uncertainties, challenges, accomplishments, reactions from others, and churn in their guts.  To succeed requires optimism, courage, persistence, focus, vision, risk-taking, openness to learning, and confidence.

It doesn’t matter whether the actions of succeeding are undertaken for jobs, school, community service or personal development.  It doesn’t matter whether the goal is magnificent and long-term, or sublime and in the moment.  The issues remain the same.  The process of succeeding comprises many other processes and actions, each requiring energy and enthusiasm.  Each requiring doggedness and focus.  Each being a potential source of enjoyment, and excitement.

To be excited about succeeding is to be excited about the entire process and not just the conclusion.  Those who are so reveal themselves with their energy and attitude.  You can plug into people like that to be recharged. You can feel their passion when you walk in the room.  To be excited about succeeding means to be excited about life.

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