Defining Success

Success is often determined by how you look at it.

I’m excited that I am a successful food gardener.  Goodness knows, I have tried many times with different plants, but have been impeded by not being disciplined with my time to maintain the gardens and by an over-abundance of shade (meaning have a terrible shortage of sunlight) in the only places that I can place gardens.  It has been a challenge, but I am now a success.

Part of determining success is knowing how you define it.  In that regard, “success” and “happiness” are very similar.  Clarifying “success” for me made a significant difference.  When it changed from “abundant cucumbers, tomatoes and squash,” to “nutritious foods,” I was able to reach my goal of successful food gardening.

I look out now at my “crops” and see greens for salads, leaves for tea, plants that have medicinal value and more.  My harvest will give me options for pesto, salads, breads and myriad other uses.  I’m pretty happy about it!  But there are some who won’t be; success and happiness share that trait, too.  What makes you happy and/or successful will likely make others unhappy or dissatisfied.  For me, the main distractor will be my home owners’ association.

Success changed when I saw it differently, or to be more exact, saw the plants differently.  I discovered that dandelion, chickweed, clover and plantain (the “weed,” not the banana) have many wonderful uses.  You can usually find these names on the side of the bag that also says “Weed and Feed.”

On my consulting side of life, I often say, “see differently, change perspectives, grow authentically.”  My gardening success provides a perfect example of all three.  I doubt others will agree when I let my yards become overgrown with these natural, wonderfully practical plants.  The same can be said for success and happiness.

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