Mentor Tip: Definition of Success

Send this message to the mentors only.

Subject: Mentoring tips on definition of success

In the next message to the electronic community I will ask participants how they define "success" for themselves. Here are examples of how this question was answered by a group of successful teens and adults with disabilities. These responses might provide some inspiration as you interact with the teens in our community.

  • To me, having a successful life is being able to do things independently for myself and not always have someone there to do things for me. It's achieving my goals on my own terms and at my own pace. (high school student with a mobility impairment)
  • Success is a relative term. If you achieve what you want to and are happy, then I think that is success. It could be applied to life in general or to individual tasks in life. (college student with a mobility impairment)
  • My definition of success is achieving personal goals, whatever they may be. Some goals are considered small by some people and enormous by others. What matters is that they are personal; each individual has his/her own formula for personal success. (college student who is deaf)
  • I remember what my high school voice teacher told the class as we prepared for our senior solo. She said, "Success comes in CANS, and failure comes in CAN'TS." (speech language pathologist who is blind)
  • Succeeding is accomplishing my dreams. However slowly I am moving toward that, to some degree I am succeeding. (high school student who is blind)
  • Even though you might not have obtained that set goal, you are successful if you tried your best. (college student with a brain injury)
  • To me, success is being able to do whatever it takes to lead a productive life. (young person who is blind) Success? That's an easy one. BE HAPPY. (high school student with a learning disability)