The Pursuit of Excellence

Has there been a point in your life when things fell into place for a bit and the journey seemed kind of… easy? Like you had it all figured out?

It happened for me once. I landed a new job for a higher salary with an easier schedule. I was happy in a stable relationship. I felt so comfortable in the moment that I started to believe I could almost coast for the rest of my days, and I would be perfectly fulfilled by the life I had already created.

But things change, don’t they? A few new expenses rolled in, and that higher salary didn’t seem like the gold mine I once thought it was. That easy schedule left me with idle time I took for granted and didn’t use very wisely. The relationship turned out to be a rose—beautiful while it lasted but destined to perish. And just as quickly as everything seemed to come together in my world, it all fell apart, leaving me to rebuild.


“The universe doesn’t award anyone the gifts of lifelong success. They have to be earned over and over.”


I learned perhaps the greatest lesson of my life through all of this. I learned it the hard way: The universe doesn’t award anyone the gifts of lifelong success. They have to be earned over and over. Joy and fulfillment are moving targets, as are health and wealth. So considering that we must constantly work to achieve these pillars of success, we better learn to be comfortable not in achievement itself but in the pursuit of achievement. And as those of us who study goal setting and goal attainment know, our pursuit is far more likely to be successful if we have a plan.

I’m constantly asked, “How does SUCCESS define success?”

I believe we all aspire to four things in life: happiness, health, growth and purpose. Those are the themes we hit every month, with our contributors offering insights on how you can work toward those goals in your career, relationships and spirit. We’ll tell incredible stories of people who reach for their own aspirations, and you’ll learn from their experiences and perspectives. The pursuit never stops, so come back each month prepared to take another step forward.

I’m also excited to announce another big development from SUCCESS headquarters: At long last we have our own podcast! Search for SUCCESS Insider on iTunes, Stitcher or through your favorite podcast app, and subscribe for free. Every week,’s Shelby Skrhak and I will discuss the latest trends in personal empowerment, entrepreneurship and career development. We’ll dig into books, ideas and news you’ll want to know about. We’ll chat with special guests, including authors, industry experts, business leaders, trendsetters on our staff and other all-around successful people. And we’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

The podcast and all the other changes you’ve noticed in the magazine and at, are the products of a lot of consideration and work. They haven’t come together easily. But we’ve enjoyed our pursuit of excellence. We’ve grown comfortable with the idea that we’ll always want to be better and do better. It’s rewarding to know that we’re working on it.

Likewise, this issue of SUCCESS is all about establishing calm—a sense of inner peace—as you strive to improve. Take a load off and enjoy it!


This article appears in the May 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Josh Ellis is the former editor in chief for SUCCESS magazine. Before joining SUCCESS in 2012, he was an accomplished digital and print sportswriter, working for the Dallas Cowboys Star magazine, the team’s gameday program, and Originally from Longview, Texas, he began writing for his hometown newspaper at 16.

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