Sunday, September 26, 2010

Versions of success

Does success mean different things to introverts and extroverts? Are introverts fascinated by creating things and ideas for their intrinsic value, while extroverts value positive fuzzies from others about what they do?

The last week’s been a rollercoaster. Ballindenisk Horse Trials went very well, everyone seemed to think I’d done a brilliant job stable managing, whereas I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about, as it seemed to be to be a lot simpler managing horses and riders than actors and stagehands (one of my former careers). It’s down to having a great team that you just front - I learned a lot from the self-effacing Belinda Turner (left, great hat!) and her Olympics experience last week. So I felt a bit of a fraud because others had created the event, and the trust and teamwork that made it go well. But I thought I’d done what it said on the tin.

I went showjumping at Maryville and had a pole down in every round. All of them were my fault. I’m an absolutely useless showjumper But one of the rounds just felt wonderful – my horse was round and responsive and we were in harmony. So I felt great, despite not “succeeding” in a clear round.

Yesterday, Regina Sexton’s hard work paid off, and UCC finally found a computer lab for my new media course. I dashed over to check everything was going to work technically and met my saviour from the Geography department, Helen. It was a logistical and technical task that zipped together beautifully and filled me with hope and enthusiasm for the tightrope that is successful teaching. Still not success, just achievement.

What will success look like for each of those students? Is it the journey, or a job offer, or developing a facility with the technology, or finding new ways to relate to others through Skype or facebook? For me, it's still solving a computer glitch, or designing a good cover, or producing a good vista in a garden or a good dressage test that does it, and bottom line, I don't care what other people think. OK, I know I'm weird... sigh.

1 comment:

  1. Personal success is, and should be, measured against your own metrics and goals.
    Collective shared metrics are sometimes useful and necessary (everything from Gini Coefficients to SAT scores) but must be taken with extreme caution (see my recent rant on University Rankings).
    I wonder if one of lifes 'key learning outcomes' is the capacity to set reasonable benchmarks of success for yourself, without undue regard for the views of the other seven billion odd folk.