Success by the Numbers

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

-- Henry David Thoreau

success by the numbers - successful numbers

How do you measure success? For some people, it’s the number in their bank account, for others it’s a zip code, while for many it’s the digit that shows on the scale (and usually more is not better).

I came to terms with the importance of numbers when I ran into an old acquaintance at the Farmer’s Market. “Hi, Dave,” I said. “How are things going?”

“Two grandchildren,” he replied. “How about you?”  

Speechless, I had no number to blurt out.

In the moment, two was his success number. If I had to measure my life, what would mine be? Who decides what’s a success number?

I thought that once I left the workforce, I wouldn’t have to quantify my achievements. And, I don’t. Just because Dave is quick with the numbers doesn’t mean it works for me. He’s probably an accountant.

But the next time I run into him, I’ll have an answer. “Yesterday I hatched 40 ideas, laughed out loud 25 times, said hello to 43 strangers, sang 25 ditties, made 0 dollars.”

My numbers are a success, because they belong to me and they make my life worth living.

The satisfaction is value unto itself, just like Dave’s number two is worth its weight in gold.

What’s your success number?


Hello, I’m Janet, career coach, writer, workshop leader.

I help women create their best lives through personal writing.