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  • Writer's picturejamesbriankerr

This is What Success Looks Like

I’ve spent forty years chasing illusory dreams of success as a corporate communicator and author, and I’ve just seen what success truly looks like.

Success isn’t in the titles I’ve held over the course of my career or the companies I worked for. It isn’t in any of the books, poems, articles, or blog posts I’ve published. It isn’t in any awards I won or the number of digits in my investment account.

All those things, while fulfilling in their own right, are means to an end. They are enablers of an even greater success that is achieved in the background of our careers, a success is dug one shovelful at a time in the day-to-day trenches of life, with much sacrifice and often without visible reward or sign that we’re making progress, until one day, after many years of consistent work and application, we realize we’ve done something pretty darn amazing.

How do we know? Because we see that success in our adult children who are living out the values that we, as parents, have passed onto them and that we, in turn, learned from our own parents, and they from theirs, going back for decades.

I saw that success yesterday in the joy written in my son Evan’s face as he exchanged marriage vows with his new wife Emily at their garden wedding at the lovely Botanic Gardens in Denver.

Having known Emily for the past nine years that she and Evan have been dating, I know what an exceptional young woman she is. Yesterday I had the chance to finally meet her family, and now I understand why she is the fine person that she is.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits,” the Bible says. How true that is. We are all fruits of the trees that have come before us, and as I spoke with Emily’s parents and saw what wonderful people they are, I felt a great pride in knowing that my son brought this fine family into his life.

That is what success looks like. It’s seeing our children grow up into good, kind-hearted, hard-working people who are making wise life choices and, in the process, helping to make the world a better place.

For all you parents out there: Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for the work you’ve done in raising your children. Corporate CEOs, athletes, movie stars, and celebrities may get the media headlines and the big paychecks, but it is the work of a parent that makes the world go around. There is no more important job in the world.

Congratulations, Evan and Emily! We couldn’t be prouder of you and look forward to watching your journey continue to unfold.


For anyone traveling in the Denver area, I highly recommend the Botanic Gardens, where you can find 24 acres of gardens featuring trees and plants from around the world. It’s really an amazing place and one that I personally plan to spend more time at in future visits to Colorado.

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Jun 08

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

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