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How Do You Define Success?

How Do You Define Success?

“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person we become.” — Jim Rohn

How Do You Define Success?

To most people in the United States, success means the attainment of fame, wealth or power. That is the way I looked at success for many years of my life. For me, success was where I lived; the kind of house I lived in, the clothes I wore, the car I drove and so on.

A few years ago, a great thing happened in my life which suddenly caused me to see success in a whole new light. It had a profound effect on my life and steered me on my journey to becoming the man I am today.

On August 17, 2004, my daughter, Tayla, was born. At the time, we lived in Florida, and it happened to be during a very bad season of hurricanes. Hurricane Charley was the second major hurricane of the 2004 hurricane season, and it lasted from August 9th to the 15th. At its peak intensity, it reached 150 mph winds, thus making it the strongest Category 4 hurricane to hit the United States since 1992.

It was a ferocious storm and our house was badly damaged. Apart from the structural damage, a tree had fallen through our lanai into the pool. Having no lanai, meant that my wife and I were both covered in mosquito bites. The water pipes had been damaged. We had no tap water, and had to swim in the pool, in-between tree branches and dirt, to bathe and cool down. The electricity was out, so the heat was unbearable. The grocery shops were all but empty, and even basic supplies like bread, milk, canned food, batteries, matches, etc. were not available.  Even gas stations were closed. But much worse, through all this, my wife was 9 months pregnant and ready to pop.  Our lives had changed drastically in a matter of days, from one of ease and luxury, to one of hardship and discomfort.

Suddenly, in the midst of all this, my daughter announced her imminent arrival, and all hell broke loose. We rushed to the hospital which was overflowing with birthing moms. A hospital nurse informed us that the barometric pressure drop, caused by the hurricane, makes pregnant women in their last trimester, go into labor. Thankfully, we were able to get a room, after much deliberation by the Volunteer Nurses, whom had recently arrived from a nearby state, to help with the barrage of patients. (What wonderful people! We will be forever grateful for their compassion and service during that time; Miles away from their own families, sleeping on the cold gym floor in sleeping bags at night!)

Once we were settled in our hospital room, life as we know it was restored. The hospital had a generator, so hence hot food, lighting, air conditioning, flushing toilets … Aaah, the simple things in life are never so important, as when you have been without them for a few days.

Twenty two hours later, in the quiet after the storm, I was holding my perfect little baby girl in my arms, my wife sleeping soundly. All the turmoil of the last few days slipped away, and at that moment I saw the world through different eyes, with a clarity I will never forget. My vision for my little girl changed the way I looked at life forever. All that mattered at that moment was that she would be happy and that she would become the very best she could be.

It was never about the home she would own, or the car she would drive, but about the wonderful person she would become and the good she would do.  I realized then, that success is not about material or external things. Many of us think that we know what success is, because we tend to define success as if it were a goal; An ending point, when we would have all that we ever dreamed of. But in reality, success is more of a journey than a destination.  The true definition of success is becoming the best person you are capable of being. Each one of us has unlimited potential, and it is the pursuit of that potential that equates to true success.

This month is our 5 Year Anniversary at The HomeMag OC. It is 5 years since I started TheHomeMag in Orange County and 2 years in San Diego.  This period has been filled with trials and tribulations, hardships and hard work, but it has also been filled with growth, development, progress and YES, success.

I have an awesome team that has grown along-side me. My team and I have faced many challenges, especially with the economic fluctuations over the past few years. But with resilience and flexibility, we have risen to the occasion, and learned things about ourselves and who we are as people. We have honed our skills. Tough times never last, but tough people do, and they go on to do incredible things in life.

When a team evolves and comes together to work towards a common vision, success becomes a reality. Success; not just for the business, but for each team player as well! Congratulations Team. I salute you! I could burst with pride as I write this letter. I am so proud of what we have accomplished and what we have achieved, both on a business level and our individual personal levels too. Let’s celebrate our 5 Year Anniversary! To our SUCCESS!

And to you, the Reader; Best Luck on your journey and may you find yourSUCCESS!

Ralph Harris, Editor