What is success?

If you follow us on Facebook, you may’ve seen Hannah, sat in front of the TV, watching the World Athletics Championship recently.  It didn’t last too long (her watching the TV, that is.  Not the championship!), I think she lasted for half of the ladies 400m.  But hey, she watched the telly…something which she’s done very little of previously…yay!

…Oh, AND, she also watched portions of In The Night Garden AND Something Special on TWO.  SEPARATE.  OCCASIONSl!! *grins and raises eyebrow in TOTALLY bragging manner*



Watching the athletics…whilst sat on her toy box (I have no idea why as her chair is RIGHT next to her)


Anyway, if you also watched it – the athletics –  you may’ve seen something featured at the end of the games…which got me thinking about Hannah and success.


(Oh cripes, she’s thinking! Put the kettle on Derek, it’s going to be another ramble!)


It was actually a piece about success; how we measure it and what value we place on it.

It’s all very subjective, isn’t it, success?

This piece explored whether success could be measured by the effort of the athletes – the victorious and the vulnerable – or the beautiful uncertainty of sport or even the joy of the spectators.  Or was it a culmination of everything?

There wasn’t a conclusion that I can remember or managed to hear, as Hannah was bashing (and seemingly trying to kill) her half deflated helium balloon at the time, so it got a bit noisy at Broccoli HQ!  Like I said, success is subjectively measured; so basically, people perceive success in different ways.

There may be a family down the road from you, who live in a big house, have a couple of brand new cars on the drive, go on holiday often, buy the latest ‘must have’ gadgets…and you may think they’re successful.  Behind closed doors, however, the occupants may be living financially from hand to mouth because of their extortionate mortgage; have loans, credit and store card limits up to the max…and those cars?…they’re not theirs, they belong to a company.

Are they successful?

Whereas, the other family down the road, own a modest house that looks a bit tired, they don’t own a new car, don’t have anything on credit, their kids don’t have the latest gadgets and they don’t go on fancy holidays….but their kids feel loved and they’re all happy.

Are they successful?

Some people mark their success by their careers (but what happens when that work isn’t there or when the company no longer requires their services?…would they feel less of a success then?)

…Or there could be a family on a reality TV show that you consider successful.

…Or it could be someone in the business world who’s made a fortune, or someone in medicine, or politics, or a musician or philanthropist, or an artist or whoever.

It’s all down to subjectivity again.


I guess my view on success has changed significantly since Hannah came along.

I consider Hannah watching the telly this last week a HUGE success, whereas, someone else may roll their eyes and consider this an utterly stupid remark.

Face, bothered?

If things don’t change radically over the next few years, Hannah might not have a career, a company car, a mortgage, buy those on-trend gadgets of her own volition or have the capacity to apply for a loan, store or credit card.

Am I fazed by this, though?


Because that stuff I just mentioned is, quite literally, just ‘stuff’.  It’s what we’re expected/conditioned into thinking comes of success or what we have to do or acquire to have ‘status’ within the hierarchy of society.

What a load of sh…….. *coughs*, sorry!

Shoes.  I was going to say shoes.  Honest!

I’m sure over many thousands of years, people have pondered and debated over the definition of success.  So I approached The Oracle for the answer (okay, I googled it!) to see what other people thought of success:

Acclaimed Author, Maya Angelou said “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it”

British Politician, Winston Churchill said “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”

Spiritual Teacher, Deepak Chopra is quoted as saying “Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realisation of worthy goals”

Inventor, Thomas Edison said “Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”.


…No mention of “stuff” there, really.  Sounds okay to me.  How about you?


So I got to thinking…


(Derek, DEREK…forget the tea.  Make it a brandy…she’s thinking!!!)


…What do I consider is success?   Here’s just a few examples (I’m pretty positive I could come up with a MASSIVE list, but you’d just get fed up with me)…but bear in mind those successes are just my opinion, but may be based on a number of individuals that spring to mind…including Hannah:


  • Being able to get up, open the curtains and face the day ahead…even when you feel you can’t
  • Having the strength to disregard or walk away from control, expectation, judgement, nonsense or provocation
  • Feeling completely comfortable in your own skin
  • Being able to lift your head up independently, despite the fact that your brain and/or your body constantly want to fight against that.
  • Being able to stand up or hold something
  • Being able to breathe independently or eat or move your hand
  • Being able to smile
  • …and even when you aren’t physically able to smile, because your physiology won’t allow, smiling in another way and being able to uplift the WHOLE room and make everyone else smile.
  • Regaining your mobility, speech and independence through sheer determination and damned hard work
  • Inspiring others
  • Thinking outside the box…in fact, no, scratch that. Chucking that sodding box (or boxes) away!
  • Eating a pasty from the Chough Bakery in Padstow…kidding!…just checking to see if you’re still reading, that’s all!!…I could just eat one though…yum! 🙂
  • Being able to navigate a busy supermarket or other environment
  • Trying something new
  • Making something work
  • Doing your best
  • Being able to look at something or someone
  • Being able to concentrate or sit, even if it’s for a few minutes
  • Loving and embracing life
  • ..or maybe, simply by being in your presence, giving someone else SO much joy.


Again, that’s all subjective (I’m sounding like a broken record here.  Soz!) Because an average person may not even give the above any thought whatsoever for themselves or their loved ones….ever…unless something happens when those things they can do are taken away from them, that is.

Prior to Hannah’s birth, I could never have imagined how I’d react when Hannah did something/anything for the first time; how I’d appreciate it, how I’d baffle or bore people about it (the ‘don’t/won’t understanders’), how sometimes I’d cry tears of joy, how I’d be taken by surprise, how liberating it would feel, how I’d ache to relive that moment and never EVER get bored of it.  Those achievements, those HUGE successes, those triumphs through adversity take on a WHOLE new dimension….and enrich your life immeasurably.

…and just because Hannah’s achieved something once, I’ve never EVER taken for granted that it’ll happen again.  Because it may not.  That’s not pessimism, btw.  That’s FACT!

…but I’ll never say never!


So, I guess that’s all for now, my lovelies.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by…

Until next time

Annie xoxo

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous, Syndromes/Special Needs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What is success?

  1. Adrienne Bolton says:

    That is so thought provoking!

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