-He did not yell. He didn't raise a hand. He looked at his son with concern and disappointment on his face. The same look Alex Chase wore now. In his always gentle voice he asked his son “What kind of man are you Eddie?” - excerpt from Harmony. Now available on amazon.com and on Kindle.


     Many people have tried to define success and with each attempt there is always a new take. Here is mine.

     I do not equate success to financial status or how much stuff a person has. Rather my gauge for success is the impact you have or have not made on the people around you. You can be financially secure and possess all the toys a grown man/woman could want and be a huge failure. On the same note you can be dirt poor and scraping by and be successful.
     By my measuring tape if you walk into a public place and people are happy to see you then you are probably a success. People wish the best for you, and on occasion do what they can to facilitate your continued success.
     On the other side of the coin I have seen individuals who were wildly successful financially walk in and no one was happy to see them arrive but overjoyed to see them depart. (This applies to not as financially secure people as well.)
     How do you become successful if this is the case? I remember a few years ago I was being honored for contributions of my time and energy to a certain organization that shall remain nameless. My friend and neighbor told me that he was jealous. I asked why? He responded that he was jealous that I was receiving an award and he wanted to receive one as well. I was shocked by his revelation of envy. His family was financially better off than mine. He drove a more dependable vehicle, had a better job, etc... I pointed to the wall where my wife had hung the few awards that I had already received and told him "Pick out any of them you want and take them home with you." He declined saying that they were not his and he had not earned them. I told him "They are only pieces of paper. They do not feed my family and they do not pay the rent. If you really want to earn some of your own I can tell you exactly how I got them and how you can get a few of your own."
     Here is a shortened version of the list that I gave him.

1. Show up.
2. If there is a line, stand in it.
3. If no one else wants to do it volunteer.
4. If you see someone who needs help, help them.
5. Help others succeed and they will be more willing to return the favor.
6. If you don't know how to do it then be willing to learn.
7. Complain less and listen more.
8. Have a good word to share.
9. Be pleasant to be around.
10. Above all if you are doing it for the piece of paper then print one out yourself and hang it on your wall.

     People can spot fakes. They appreciate truth. So if you are going to do it then learn to love it. If you care about the person or the cause that you are committing to help you will be able to do it with a smile.
     If you are wondering if you are a success then ask your self "Am I a character from Cheers or from Seinfeld?" In other words when you walk into the room are people more likely to greet you with an exuberant "NORM!" or will they scowl and say "Newman"?
     If your answer is the former, then congratulations. Keep up the good work. If it is the latter then back to the drawing board.
     Perhaps you have a different list. If so I would love to read it. Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments.
                                         -Brian Randleas

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