As I watched the final round of The Open Championship, I wondered if the two top contenders going down the stretch had one any of golf’s majors. I enjoy when someone can celebrate their first big win as a professional. This year, Shane Lowry won handily, and raised the Claret Jug for his first major championship, and will forever be among the winners of perhaps the most desirable golf tournament in the world. His impressive performance will be remembered for many years, and will be his defining career moment.
For the longest time, I remember golf fans and press label Phil Michelson as one of the best who never won a major. For many years, Phil came close, and in some cases, faltered down the stretch to allow someone else to win. Many people poked fun at him, labeling his as a choker or someone who can win only in low pressure situation. Eventually, Phil broke through and won a major, and those who were critical and judgmental of his skills and accomplishments moved onto to others who are now the “best to never have won a major” debate. To these people, simply because you haven’t won the biggest and best tournaments means they have failed in some capacity.
Too much is placed on if people have ultimate accomplishments, whether in work or in life. There are many good authors who never won an award or sold high volumes of books, or even have been published. Many scientists contributed to discoveries, but never were considered for a Nobel Prize. There are so many single parents who do a fantastic job. It seems that what job title someone has determines the worthiness of their accomplishment. How much money someone has becomes a barometer for gauging successful. It’s easy to fall into the trap to believe that if someone hasn’t reached a certain level, they didn’t accomplish anything of note.
Step back and evaluate your life. Have you completed school, or completed any educational certifications? Have you been employed for any length of time? Have you completed work project, or complete tasks with quality? Have you been a good friend and partner? Have you helped out anyone in need? Are you a good parent, sibling, or child? All you have to do is look and see just how much you’ve accomplished. You may not be featured in a business or news magazine as an industry leader, but your accomplishments are important.
Success is not only reaching an ultimate goal in life, but the practice of making a difference along the way. Dream big, and make plans to reach lofty goals, and then execute. Just realize, that you can be successful in so many aspects of life. Are you learning and growing? You’re accomplishing. You’re being a success, so take heart and build on that.
When someone says that someone choked, or failed, simply because they lost a high profile game or tournament, realize that they were successful in so many areas just to be there. Reflect on the accomplishments of someone who’s a good parent, or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Celebrate those who are good friends, or those who help people in need. These actions make differences in lives. These are quality successes and accomplishments.
Look at each point along your path, and celebrate all accomplishments, just as much as if you reach a big goal down the road. Little things add up. So admire those who accomplish big, and use their successes as motivation. But never forget that each of us are successful in so many areas. You’re successful, even though you may not fully appreciate it, so keep discouragement at bay. Sometimes we’re our own worst critics. It’s no big deal if you didn’t get the promotion, or the job you applied for. There’s more to life than that.
Keep learning new things and growing as a person, and continue to accomplish and be successful. Accomplishments are so much more than a trophy or award.