Redefine Success: Thoughts from Anna Terese Stone
We spend so much time thinking about who we want to be and how we are living our lives. We worry about how much money we want to make, what we want our career to be, who we see ourselves marrying. We create a picture of what our lives should look like. An imaginary target somewhere in the future that we “should” get to if we keep working away. In the last few years, I have discovered that this image of what I “should” be doing has brought about a lot of discontent. This self-imposed expectation has forced me to redefine how I view success.
The dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” As I read this over, the word that strikes me is purpose. I have realized that many people, myself included, have a Holy Grail that they are constantly working towards, and they believe that if this one thing is attained, suddenly all of their problems will be solved, they will have made it, and they will be happy with their life. But this seems to be such a static existence, life is not about one thing, life is about movement, growth, and improvement. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that you should always be setting goals for yourself and striving to push yourself for excellence in everything you do. However, I believe that you must take your focus off of this Holy Grail, this single target at the end of the road, and shift it to the work being done along the way, the small moments of triumph, the purpose and depth behind what you are doing. In life there is no end and we do not always gain the satisfaction we think we deserve when we reach specific destinations. Success is about understanding why you do the work that you do and filling up every moment of your work with value. This is going to mean something different to everyone, whether it is performing pieces of art that have a message you believe in, creating a blog that brings joy to a community, or creating a program that gives a voice to someone who may not have had one otherwise, but whatever that step is, it is the act of doing that is why you live the life you live. I believe that if you wake up every day excited about what you are doing, and are making the world a better place along the way, you have found success. I believe that that is the secret, success isn’t a goal it is a movement towards a life filled with joy and value.
Success isn’t about life becoming easy or simple, but about something within that brings peace, power, and love. It is about working on something every day that excites you and fulfills your purpose. That is enough. And if you look at it this way, even for a moment, you know that you are enough. We all have our own journeys, and success is no different. Not looking to see who’s ahead of you or worrying about how far you have to go, just that daily step forward, one small moment on the journey to who you want to be.
Anna Terese Stone
Operations Manager, Resident Artist
Anna Stone is a graduate of Oklahoma City University. In her four years at OCU she completed pedagogy training in Ballet, Tap and Jazz, and obtained a B.P.A in dance performance. As a performer, Anna has been seen internationally with Dublin Spirit Productions in shows such as, “Le Grand Cirque,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Christmas on Ice.” She was part of the original cast of “Scrooge No More,” directed and choreographed by Broadway choreographer, Lisa Shriver. She was a guest artist for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and most recently she can be found touring internationally with the cast of “Beauty and the Beast.” As an educator and ASTEP fellow, Anna believes in the power of movement to teach one how to truly live in the space they inhabit, allowing them to grow to their highest potential. Anna is a true believer in the power of positivity to change the world and knows that each of our great journeys through life begins with a dream, long before we take our first steps. She invites each and every one of you to come share your dreams with her and hopes to help you take those wondrous steps toward greatness.