Navigating to Success

Are you successful? That depends upon your definition of success. What is it? How is success to be measured? There are many opinions of what success actually is. My definition is different than most. The best definition of success is this, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. This is the best definition you will ever find. It is worth memorizing, but what exactly do these words mean? Let’s break them down.

Why Progressive?

“Progressive” is used here not in the sense of modernism, but rather proceeding step by step, happening gradually. Progressive assumes maturity — the ability to stay the course, patiently waiting for the final outcome. What are the steps? Let’s explore them. Nothing in our universe stands still. Everything is either moving forward (progressing) or backward (decaying). When I ask if you were successful in the past, part of what I am asking is whether you moved forward or backward. Did your business grow? Were you able to move forward with tough decisions you’ve been battling? Knowing we either move ahead or fall behind, which side should we choose? In which direction should we face? If self-reflection tells us we are treading water without forward progress, then it’s time to redirect our efforts and correct our course.

Contrary to some beliefs, it may not require a full 180 degree turn-around to change your from heading backward to forward. A ship may only need a slight correction to its direction to compensate for side currents. Even a small correction can change the direction of our ship and point us once again toward the safe harbor of our destination.

An ocean-going ship does not reach its destination (its harbor) in a single day, and the ship’s captain certainly can’t see the harbor where he anticipates docking. Nevertheless, the captain has perfect confidence in his navigation plan, knowing that by steadily following that plan he will accomplish his goal and reach the specific harbor intended.

This is a progressive, step-by-step approach to navigating by faith. Yes, faith. Faith that although the harbor may not be visible at all, progressive and steady navigation will bring the ship to the desired destination, the safe harbor.


An ideal is a goal for which you are striving. We all need goals — a business plan, a visualization of life’s destination, etc. A Harvard Business study revealed that 83% of the population has no goals. Further, they found that the 14% who have goals, even though unwritten, are 10 times more successful than those without goals. If we have none we would be like the ship’s captain who sets out on his voyage with no destination (no harbor) in mind.

In that case he may end up driven by wind and wave and possibly running aground in unplanned, inconvenient, and uncharted waters. Think of one of your goals for this year. Does it include the tools necessary to help you navigate to your desired destination?

Is it Worthy?

Are your goals “worthy”? The term worthy as I’m using it here encompasses honesty, integrity, and hard work, but also implies a well-thought-out business plan which includes the faith that value will be added upon arrival.

Good Examples

Course development and training delivery are worthy ideals. They are part of a good navigation plan for any company. They provide the route by which students learn the language, the hardware, the do’s and don’ts of navigating through the fog in our sea of challenges and technologies. Training helps prepare workers for the unexpected storms of product failures. Training is proactive, giving students knowledge and confidence to decide the best path to follow as storms approach.

Often, goals are not achieved. We may run aground by establishing “un-worthy” goals — those built on false assumptions, dishonesty, or a poorly-crafted business plan. Haphazard approaches or assumptions that training is the right tool to correct all business problems would exemplify “un-worthiness”. Worthy training excludes fluff and nice-to-know information which is later jettisoned.

The Tools to Navigate

Training is a tool of business travel. It keeps your employees on-course (pun intended). It helps prevent and break bad habits.

Training is the rudder keeping workers on course

Training is the rudder reducing guess work while navigating through the swift moving side currents and inevitable storms we face daily as we serve our customers.

Proactive planning now will help ensure that your path to port is efficient and cost effective. No one wants to look back after running aground wondering how and why that happened. Results are ultimately achieved by the steady, by those who stay the course.

Are your people headed toward the safe harbor of success? If a course correction is needed, we are happy to command the bridge or to navigate alongside your team as they embark on your training journey. We’re just a message away,

Smooth sailing!

Founder/CEO at SnackLearning | Skills Gap Learning Solutions for Manufacturing and Oil and Gas |