The corresponding picture of my 16-year-old son, Tucker, with this blog post, was recently taken at a hockey tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. Tucker, by all accounts, is one of the best goal scorers for his team. For the first two games of the tournament, Tucker was repeatedly frustrated by missed opportunities and some remarkable goalie saves that sent him into the tournament semi-final game with no goals. The first two periods of the semi-final game were more of the same. Tucker worked and worked, but no goals. He kept focused and worked hard in the third period and then, with 30 seconds left, he seized an opportunity and scored the game-winning goal. The picture was taken right after the goal was scored. Success at last!
As I reflect on Tucker’s experience, it occurred to me that his path to success in that situation mirrors how we, as adults, should pursue success. Dr. Alan Zimmerman, in his internet newsletter “Tuesday Tip” recently commented on the various studies that have been conducted about achieving “success”. In his newsletter, Dr. Zimmerman cites four key elements of success which is first to “toil awhile” and secondly “to endure awhile”. The last two steps of success are to “believe always” and the final step being “never turn back”. Dr. Zimmerman states, “the folks who make it in this world…the folks who become truly successful…continue to toil and endure in spite of their problems, challenges, and setbacks. Successful people know that hard work does not prevent problems. It simply gets them through the problems.”
In summary, Tucker’s accomplishments have made me very proud of him as a hardworking and dedicated young man. That being said, his accomplishments also reminded me of the important lesson of what it takes to be truly “successful”. We are facing challenges in today’s world that are unprecedented. However, we still have the ability to be a success, survive the challenges, and become better people through the process.
Dan A. Penning
(a.k.a. Proud Father)