Success is not a goal.

I don’t think of myself as an inspirational quote type person. I don’t buy t-shirts with slogans on them, make DIY canvas paintings with my favorite sayings, or jot down lyrics that strike me. But sometimes I find words that I connect with or little quotes from movies or television shows that seem to apply to my daily life and how I’m currently feeling.

I’ve been juggling a few things at work recently. There have been some changes in management, an expansion of our department and therefore the training of new employees, as well as some shifting priorities in the types of work my team is directed to complete. None of it is bad, but it does take some getting used to and many of my coworkers have found themselves to be stressed out by it, myself included.

So when I was rewatching Friday Night Lights and Coach Taylor delivered this little nugget of wisdom to his football players, it kind of struck me.

“Success is not a goal. It’s a byproduct.”

I guess this could mean different things to different people. Everyone interprets things in ways that make the most sense to them. To me, though, it means that doing the work is the goal and that if you succeed at it, great, but if you fail, then it isn’t because you didn’t try. Trying is what you should set out to do; it matters only that you put in your best effort.

And that’s a sentiment that I think I can get behind right now.

A lot has been asked of me and my coworkers. A lot of things are changing very quickly, too. But I should be proud of what I’m able to do and what I can get done and not worry about every tiny thing still left on the plate. No one asked me to be perfect.

We don’t try because it makes us successful. We try because we want to put our best selves forward, to have pride in what we do. Success might come out of that effort, but it isn’t the end game.


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