Family Life

How To Measure Success Inspired By Jimmy Fallon’s Mom


Have you ever thought about what is the real definition of a woman’s success? Well, I did. I particularly thought about it after learning about who Jimmy Fallon’s mom is. How influential she was to her son, and how people around her see her. After reflecting on her life, I wrote down my few takes on how to measure success, especially in this time and age.


We live in what we call the 21st century. In this era comes a lot of innovation, and technology would sometimes even overpower the man. We are in a state when competitiveness is all around – this and that. Overwhelming, really. So here we are trying hard thinking, during these times, how do we define success?


For some people, success equates to money, expensive toys, traveling the world, and the perfect guy who has everything tied up with a neat little bow. Well, if you are one of them, I cannot blame or judge you if this define what success is for you.


But you know what, as an avid viewer of “The Tonight Show,” when I saw their announcement following the death of Jimmy Fallon’s mom, Gloria Fallon, I immediately check on who she was, and when I found out about the life she lived, something struck me and made me reflect.


Who is Gloria Fallon?


People know her as Jimmy Fallon’s mom, but who really is she? Gloria Rose Fallon or better known as Gloria Fallon, was born on January 5, 1949 in Brooklyn. She is the daughter of the late Thomas and Gloria Hovelsen Feeley. She is a wife to James W. Fallon, and a mom to James “Jimmy” Thomas and her namesake, Gloria Regina.


Following the birth of their children, Gloria and her husband, Thomas lived in Saugerties, New York for almost 40 years. However, in 2012, the couple moved to Bronxville to stay close to their kids and grandkids.


What kind of life did she live?


Gloria was a homemaker, but later in her life, she became a writer. She, along with her son, Jimmy, wrote a comedy book entitled, “I Hate This Place: The Pessimist’s Guide to Life”.


Gloria is known for being loving, loyal, full of fun, and being always the life of the party. People close to her know her as someone who loves singing, reading, cooking, and making people laugh, no wonder she is Jimmy Fallon’s mom.



Gloria died at the age of 68. While some may see it as old, I see it as young. She could have lived longer and have touched more people with her charm and humor.


While reflecting on her life, I wondered how it is having a famous son who has touched so many lived through the laughter he brings. She was sure proud. I thought, was it her definition of success? I mean, looking down from above, would she say to herself that she was successful in raising a man like him?


I am a mom to a son. He may still be young, but I thought, as early as now, I could say that he is my definition of success. Perhaps that’s how Jimmy Fallon’s mom, Gloria’s definition of success too – having a son who even with fame remained grounded. A son who is successful at his craft, but remained humble and kind and nice to people. Needless to say, she always raised a kind and loving daughter.


But of course, we are all different. We live different lives, we are in different circumstances, and lived from different generations. Thus, let me share my take on measuring success particularly in this era.


First, though, let us define what real success means.

What real success is?


There’s a saying that goes, “True success is when you’re happiness is in balance.” I totally agree with this. Success is equivalent to real happiness.


When I was reflecting on Jimmy Fallon’s mom death, I remember when she and her husband once visited their son’s show, when their son acknowledged their presence, the glow was evident in their eyes especially the mom. The joy, the happiness was real. You can see it in her eyes and through her sweet smile. For me, that was what success is. Happiness was present in the being of the mom.


Finding balance in life is not easy. I mean, every day we encounter a lot of hardships, struggles, and the like, it makes hard to find balance. It’s hard to find happiness. But then again, if you come to think of it, it’s all about perspective. For sure, Jimmy Fallon’s mom Gloria had her share of struggles too, but it didn’t show because she was able to find balance. She handled it well.


Moving on, here are a few things to reflect on how to measure success nowadays.


Having True Friends


The more successful you get, it seems the more “friends” you have. But are they really friends in the strongest sense of the word? Think about the people that surround you. Can you count on them during difficult times?


True friends know everything about you; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yet, they still love you unconditionally regardless of your faults. Others who want to be around you because of what you are or what you have are not your friends. Once you recognize this, you can weed out the good from the bad and spend time with those that will lift you up! Having true friends is indeed one thing that measures a person’s success.


I’m quite sure Jimmy Fallon’s mom had her share of true friends. I believe I have some too.


Having Lots of Money Does Not Define Success


We all need money to live. Of course, without money, you can’t buy your needs and wants. But does having lots of money define what success is? Well, not really.


Having extra to spend on what you want, at the same time, having significant savings may be considered a success for some. But come to think of it, sometimes the more money you have, the more problem seem to come. The harder you work, the more stressors because of the increase in responsibilities. How can it be a measure of success if we always have to work hard to be able to enjoy the benefits of having lots of money?


Carve out enough time to enjoy life and revel in your success. As we were saying, be careful when spending your money, though. More money equates to more expensive things. If you’re spending more because you’re making more, you’ll have to continue to work just as hard. But, if you splurge from time to time and only buy necessities, for the most part, you can enjoy life more and maybe not work as hard. Then maybe, that is a success. I guess it boils down to what we mentioned earlier, achieving happiness by way of balance.


However, in the case of other women like that of Jimmy Fallon’s mom, myself included, if we see our children as our definition of success rather than having lots of money, we get to enjoy it by simply being with them. Spending time with them, or when they are older, seeing them from afar and knowing that they have become good people.


Your Hobbies Can Be a Source of Success


Do you have a hobby or even time for one? If the answer is no, you need to restructure this area of your life. What do you like to do? What have you always wanted to do? Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the piano or learn to crochet.


Again, make the time. You don’t have to do it every day, but when you do, you’ll be constructive outside of your career. Do not let time pass until you’re aged and only then will you make time for the things that you really love doing the most.


Make time for your hobbies. For mommies, it can be baking or cooking or maybe crocheting. Being successful is being happy with what you do best.


Knowing Your Purpose


Going back to Jimmy Fallon’s mom, perhaps the reason why she was taken early on is that she has already served her purpose in life. I mean, maybe one of Mrs. Fallon’s purposes is to bring to the world Jimmy to make people happy.


Don’t you think all mommies have that very same purpose? To bring up our children to make a mark in the world, not as geniuses or to be celebrities per se, but to be able to bring joy to other people.




Apart from happiness and balance, I think this is one of the best basis of success. When a person is contented, he is successful. This generation offers a lot of things. It’s very competitive. With so much to offer, it leads to people always wanting for more. We are never contented. We always want more.


But seriously, if only we can settle with what we have. Be grateful with what we have and be content, then we have a happier world.


Jimmy Fallon’s mom Gloria is an epitome of a woman who has contentment. It’s very obvious with how his son sees her and values her. The kind of life he has lived because of her guidance. I can only hope and pray I could be that kind of mom too to my son.


In conclusion, there’s really no true measurement of success. There is no specific formula or basis. It’s really up to the person. You are successful by your own definition of the word. Someday, when we all die and someone from above would ask us how we lived our lives, I think only then will we realize what truly is the real definition of success.