Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Jan-2016

Success is a Journey

Categories:  Business Coaching, Being on purpose, Training & Coaching, Life Balance and Wellbeing

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome.  Not everyone can be number 1”                      

Arthur Ashe


I’ve used this quote a lot over the years to support the need for continual improvement.  However, the more I revisit it, the more meaning it has for me. 

Over the years, you’ve probably seen, or read about elite business or sports people who experience a meteoric rise to success.  Most don’t achieve it overnight; in fact, many achieve great things, only to self-sabotage, crash and burn and lose everything.  Some stay in the gutter, while others use their failings as feedback and pick themselves up, reconsider and redefine their purpose, identity and values and decide what they need to do in order to get back on track. 

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation sits proudly at the top of the pyramid.  However, achieving your greatest ambitions can be dangerous unless they are aligned with who you really are…and you know where you’re going next.

Arthur Ashe, was correct, you can’t all be number 1.  You can however, be your best self, if you identify your purpose, align that with those things that matter most to you, then choose behaviours that support you in that journey.


Here’s my take on ‘the journey’:

  • Know who you are and where you’re heading

  • Create short, medium and long term goals to use as milestones and checkpoints along the way

  • Celebrate each and every success, however seemingly insignificant

  • Reward your effort, as well as your achievements

  • Be present and focused each and every day

  • If you are what you consistently do, behave in a manner that is aligned to your purpose and identity

  • Treat failure as feedback and learn from your mistakes

  • Practice daily – i.e. taking a step, however small, in the right direction

  • Enjoy the ride – contrary to the title from one of the James Bond movies, sadly you do only live once

  • Look positively towards the next horizon


In short…Continuous Improvement = Continued Success