How Do You Define Success?

We often define success on an all or nothing basis, particularly in sport but also in work or life in general. However, success should be judged relative to situations, environment and realistic expectations.

Success needs to be assessed in context and is relative to position and circumstances. I would like to use a sporting context to highlight this. The English F A Cup is the worlds oldest club football knock out competition. In this season’s competition 732 teams were entered. Entrants from both the professional and the amateur ranks with 92 from the Football League and 640 from the National League. Due to the large number of teams involved the competition is split into 6 preliminary qualifying rounds and then 8 further rounds including the final.

Obviously only one team can be the eventual winner and realistically just a handful of teams would have any genuine aspiration of lifting the trophy. However, there are countless success stories along the way, outside of those that have the ultimate glory of lifting the cup.

Very nearly £2 million is awarded to the teams that compete in the early qualification rounds of this historic competition. I personally have ben involved with clubs playing at this level and know for a fact that this prize money is vital to the financial survival of these clubs.

The professional game is big money, very big money, the eventual winners received nearly £4 million in prize money. In addition to this clubs receive income from televised matches.

Grimsby Town FC will have regarded this year’s competition as a massive success, on several levels. They became the first team in the cups history to defeat 5 teams ranked higher than them in the competition. As well as a place in the history book, this feat netted (pun intended) them £558,000 of prize money as well as any additional television money. The fans of Grimsby will have lasting memories and that is priceless.

Non-League, at the time, Wrexham FC (they later won promotion to the Football League) also had a hugely successful cup run and one of their players Paul Mullin was a guest at Wembley stadium for the final to receive a trophy in recognition of him scoring more goals than anyone else in this years competition.

Success in any area you are involved in should be measured in similar context. Not everyone can win however we are all capable of achieving success on different levels. Keep everything in perspective and celebrate your successes.

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