They use the winning percentage, and that’s not an accurate way of judging success. I wanted to come up with something of my own, and I think there were three things embedded into it. One was the discussion in Mr. Schidler’s class. Then, my dad’s words: “Never trying to better than someone else, learn from others, and never cease trying to be the best you could be.” And, always being interested in verse that makes a point, about that time I ran across a little simple one that said:
At God’s footstool, to confess,
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
“I failed,” he cried. The master said,
“Thou didst thy best. That is success.”
I think those things, more than anything else, accounted for my own definition. The definition I coined for success is: Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you’re capable. Now, we’re all equal there. We’re not all equal as far as intelligence is concerned. We’re not equal as far as size. We’re not all equal as far as appearance. We do not all have the same opportunities. We’re not born in the same environments, but we’re all absolutely equal in having the opportunity to make the most of what we have and not comparing or worrying about what others have. I coined that in 1934. Later, I started working on my pyramid. I worked on that for the next 14 years, placing success according to my definition at the apex of this structure and then working up from the blocks, from the foundation, the cornerstones, the foundation, then up. But, I’d say that those were the things that probably had more to do with the definition than anything else I can think of.