Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 7, 2009



      How do you measure success? Success is an intangible objective that is very hard to quantify. As we discussed last week, winning does not necessarily equal success, and we can be successful without actually winning.


Perhaps the best definition of success is a life filled with fulfillment and satisfaction. This is best found when we balance our four anchors. If we are able to optimize our spiritual, professional, family, and physical aspects we will achieve balance resulting in fulfillment and satisfaction.

A recent story about an Ironman acquaintance is very instructive in discussing success. He retired from Ironman racing feeling he can no longer perform at the highest levels, or “win,” due to nagging injuries. Although he is just an amateur athlete, we discussed several years ago that his injuries were predictable due to being out of balance. His apparent short-term successes through athletic achievement put him out of balance with his other aspects and responsibilities in life. As we see often with professional athletes, this formula simply does not work in life.

The lesson, which we can witness over and over, is that winning does not equal success. On the other hand, this does not mean to become content or complacent. To the contrary, pursuing betterment and excellence in each of the anchors is necessary to obtain fulfillment and satisfaction. However, we can’t overbalance one aspect in our zest to win. It simply does not work.

In Indicators for Success, we identified methods of pursuing and guiding the success of our young people. For us, diligently pursuing excellence in each of our anchors while refraining from neglecting any of the anchors is the surest path to success.

We may not be able to secularly measure success.   It will always continue to be intangible and attempt to elude us. We do know that although success is not tangible, when we are in balance we know it and feel it.

Winning success,




  1. […] Excerpt from: Success […]

  2. […]         Walking in others’ shoes gives us a better understanding of other people. That is why people who do charitable work, public service, and service to others tend to have a better understanding of those around them. Research shows that people who serve others – walk in their shoes – reap the bonus of more fulfilling and satisfying lives. […]

  3. […] Macca’s words apply not only to Ironman triathlons, but to all of our individual pursuits and successes. Anything that is really worthwhile and meaningful takes hard work. There is simply no way around […]

  4. […] A lot of apparent results seem to come from short sighted and scorched-earth tactics. Long-term fulfillment and satisfaction that leads to true happiness does not come instantaneously. It takes planning, perseverance, and […]

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