I did a couple of events this week on the theme of success.
One was a prizegiving night at the wonderful South Molton Community College in Devon, the other a careers talk -
This was with some of the excellent students of Exeter College. And it all started me thinking about the meaning of success.
In a writing manner, I suppose I've been successful - as both journalist and author - which I suspect is why I was invited to the events.
(It's harder to market "Come listen to wannabe failure Simon Hall talking about some things he'd like to have done but never quite managed...")
Anyway, the important point was this -
For all the great times I've had covering news stories, the travel, the events and the people... and the remarkable times I've known as an author, the seven novels, short stories etc...
That's not where I find the most joy of success.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of all I've done. But what really makes me feel the happiest, as though I've achieved the most, is with...
The teaching I do. When a student understands something they didn't before, and it makes their writing better. And then they go on to get published.
Or when a young person finds a career they may previously never have considered, because of me -
That's what brings the most radiant of those delightful inner glows we spend so much of our lives seeking.
Success is a curious beast. It's so often judged and commented upon by those who look upon us.
But for me, the only true definition of success is the one you find within yourself.