Pursuing A Worthy Ideal
‘Karen and Jay share thoughts on the meaning of success and how it relates to each and every one of us.’
We each have our own aspirations, our own unique definitions of success. However, there is an exciting way to think about success that is truly universal. As it has been said, ‘Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.’ In other words, it’s not necessarily the ultimate outcome that is important. It’s the quest. It’s the journey. It’s that feeling that we are putting our heart and soul into efforts that are truly worthwhile. Where we begin to see the progress day by day. And, that special pursuit that makes us excited to wake up in the morning, get out of bed and attack the day with optimism and strength. Moving forward with a purpose.
With this in mind, I thought you might enjoy a story about a friend of mine. It’s a story about ‘success’ – but it also offers insight into how our own definition of success can evolve and change over time – in important ways. And, that we need to be careful to define success in our own terms – rather than necessarily conforming to what is defined by others or by the world at large.
This friend, who we’ll call Dan, was in his senior year of college where he was studying journalism. He’d been a passionate writer for the school paper and a broadcaster on the school radio station. He even helped sell advertising space so the paper could actually afford to pay some of its student writers and even hire local journalists. As graduation approached and he began to contemplate his options after school, he was approached with two job opportunities. The first offer was as a journalist at a small regional newspaper not too far from his school that offered modest pay. The second offer, because he’d been so good at selling ad space in his school paper, was the role of a sales executive with a big radio station in Boston. It was a tough decision, but Dan felt his ‘success’, as he defined it then, would best be tied to how much money he made.
So, graduation came, and he decided to move to Boston where he began his role as the youngest sales executive not just in the history of the station, but the entire company nationwide. Within a year, he was nominated as a top salesman in the country and even received a promotion. He’d stay with the company for a few more years until he was offered a job in New York, where he would get married, buy a big house, and have kids. As time went on his paycheck’s got bigger and bigger and money became his only pursuit. He began missing important events in his kids’ lives because of work and his marriage began to suffer. And then one day, he was unexpectedly let go from his job, and the paychecks he’d been using to define his success suddenly stopped.
Dan didn’t know where to turn and continued to struggle for a number of years to find ‘success’. He got offered jobs here and there that didn’t bring in the money he was used to, so he’d quit after only a few months. He decided to start his own business, which he felt would put him back on track to earning what he’d earned previously. The business did well for a few years, yet he still felt it wasn’t going to give him the financial wherewithal he sought. Then the financial crisis hit, and it wiped out his business and all the investment he’d put into it. The house he’d bought went into foreclosure and with his kids approaching the end of high school, he feared he would not be able to send them to college like he’d once hoped. Dan felt he had failed.
A few years went by, and Dan was able to find ways to keep things together as best he could. In the back of his mind though, he still felt like he had failed himself and his family. That was until one day, after one of his son’s who’d recently graduated from college came home. They were sitting on their back porch catching up when Dan shared that he’d felt that he’d failed his son and his siblings because he didn’t make enough money. His son turned to him and told him “Dad, you have four beautiful kids who are all doing great things and pursuing their dreams. I think you’ve done pretty well for yourself.”
It was in that moment Dan realized he’d been defining his success wrong all this time. While he was equating money to his success, he’d been building a family that meant more to him than any dollar amount could ever. Overtime, he didn’t realize that his definition of success had been evolving and changing, he just had to choose to define it differently.
Kancamagus Highway – New Hampshire’s Scenic Highway
The Kancamagus Highway (or the ‘Kanc’ as we like to call it) is a 34 mile stretch of road that runs from Lincoln to Conway through the White Mountain National Forest. This scenic path has no restaurants, hotels, or gas stations and is unbroken by any other man-made attraction other than the road’s one intersection. In the context of the history of New Hampshire, the Kancamagus Highway is quite young. As recent as 1964, the road consisted of merely two dead-end dirt roads that then became connected.
The highway is named after Chief Kancamagus who also has a New Hampshire mountain named after him as well. The Chief (Sagamore is the proper title!) was the last leader of the Penacook Confederacy who lived in relative harmony with early New Hampshire settlers until the bond of trust was broken and violence erupted. In an effort to keep his people safe, Kancamagus led his people from southern New Hampshire into what is now Canada.
As for the road, families from all over the country and the world flock to this beautiful winding thoroughfare during the Fall to see what many consider to be the best “leaf-peeping” in the world. With scenic overlooks and a magnificent view of the untamed natural beauty of New Hampshire it is no wonder this iconic road has become a Granite State “must see” attraction.
The Birds are Returning to NH - The USAF Thunderbirds
September 11th is a time when we as Americans take time to reflect, honor, and remember the tragic events of nearly twenty years ago. The day we as citizens came together to support one another and demonstrate our commitment to America.
This year, Granite Stater’s will be able to honor 9/11 with a demonstration by the US Air Force Thunderbirds thanks to the USAF, my friend Renee Plummer, and a coalition of organizations from across New Hampshire. The Nevada based flight squadron will be visiting the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth on September 11th this year to demonstrate their incredible flight training and fighter maneuvers. Pilots in the cockpits of the F-16’s will showcase their skills and take to the skies of New Hampshire at over 700 MPH, allowing Granite Stater’s to see one of the greatest air force squadrons in the world firsthand.
Founded in 1953, the squadron adopted their name from local Native American mythology, The Thunderbird, was considered to be a supernatural symbol of strength and power. Pilots serve as members of the Thunderbird squadron for two years and perform dozens of shows across the country and the world.
It brings us great pride to have the Thunderbirds back in New Hampshire. Proud of our fellow Granite Stater’s who have worked diligently to bring this air show together. Proud of the brave men and women who serve in uniform, including those who have served and or currently serve in the Thunderbirds squadron. And on a personal note, proud to be the father of a son who is flying the F-18 fighter jet for the US Navy and based in the South China Sea. And proud to have the chance to show our love of country on 9/11 by coming together to honor, remember, reflect, and be proud of being an American.
Positive Profile of the Week: Jeremy Hitchcock
New Hampshire is blessed to have such an incredible array of truly amazing many people. Individuals with superb accomplishments – even on a global scale. Just to name a few, these include Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Dean Kamen, Creator of the Segway, the FIRST US Robotics Competition and a prolific inventor of so very many life enhancing solutions, and Governor John H. Sununu, who was the ‘point person’ helping President George H. W. Bush to run the country for a number of years. And the list goes on.
This week I would like to add an important name to this list and highlight his accomplishments. A tech giant. A young man who took an idea in his dorm room and turned that idea into a multi-million-dollar company. I’m talking about Dyn Founder and currently Minim CEO Jeremy Hitchcock.
Jeremy is from Bedford, New Hampshire and today resides with his wife Liz and children in Manchester. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student had an idea and through hard work and determination, he and his partners raised $100 million to grow a company that would later become part of the Oracle network of companies.
Today, Jeremy is building yet another company, a cyber security company, along with doing his part to help others achieve their dreams. Jeremy participates in tech start up programs, mentoring, and continually giving back to his community. He and wife are supporting the arts by restoring a local performing arts center in downtown Manchester. His wife Liz also is the owner of the Bookery, which not only sells amazing books, but brings people together so they can share ideas on how to make their community better.
Jeremy is a true ‘success story’ and someone always determined to do more. His industry is better because of his contributions. His community is better because of his commitment. And he’s undoubtedly made an incredibly positive impact s and will continue to do so for years to come.
Quotes of the Week: Success
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer
“Success is the sum of small efforts - repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier
“Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” David Frost
“Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” Mike Ditka