Thursday, June 1, 2006

What is Success?

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded! —Emerson

I came across this quote tonight—I think it's an amazing thing to strive for. Granted, I don't think I'm respected by a ton of intelligent people, and I'm not a fan of criticism, which is obvious, and I've been known to be judgmental of others, but I would like to leave the world a nicer place...and to someday affect just one life for the better. That would be success. I think we all affect many lives for the better. I can think of 20 people off the top of my head who help me to breathe easier.

So this is sappy, deal. I've been sooo caught up in my own shit lately, it's ridiculous. You know, in my mind, I'm so consumed with the thoughts of others but when the truth is, we're ALL consumed, we're all self-absorbed to some extent. And if you look at it that way, everyone's so busy looking at themselves, the good and the bad, there's very little time to think about you. Or me.

Success to me has always been having a dream, and then going for it. So many people talk about this, that and the other, and they never take action. Anyone can talk. But can anyone DO? I think so, but some are too full of doubt. Moving to New York minus any income may have been crazy at the time, but I was so focused...maybe because I've seen what happens to people who let their dreams die. Once I actually did it, I found myself lost for a couple of years. What next? Well, I've come to realize that true success is liking yourself, really loving who you are, and then just being happy. Will we ever just be HAPPY? Something always gets in the way...but perhaps all we can do is strive for it. Success is a work in progress. At least for me anyway.

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