Friday, November 28, 2008


I was reminded this morning of a discussion I had with a friend a few years ago regarding success. If I say Jane is a successful woman, if you are honest with yourself you think of her as making money, achieving some social status, etc. You probably even see her in a business suit. If I say "John is a successful artist" you almost certainly think of the number of paintings/sculptures he has sold. Success is first off thought of in terms of wealth and "accomplishment" where "accomplishment" itself is understood in terms of wealth and power.

I know that there are a few who are simply contrary who will immediately say something about the "successful" people, such as Mother Teresa, who never gathered in wealth for themselves, but even in such cases we are focusing on celebrity, fame, etc.

With those exceptions in mind, we then start to think of others: artists, orators, writers, etc. who may never gain fame or fortune in their lives, but still seem to fit what we would deem successful.

So then, we can see that our initial notion of success is flawed at best. So then what is success?

In the conversation with a friend, I answered this question along the lines of the following: Success (in life) is living the life you choose to live, accomplishing the goals you set for yourself, being the person you want to be.

These travels for me serve as rungs of the ladder of success. Building my own home will be another such rung, and a very significant one at that.

But do not feel a need to follow my path. Seek your own, examine what it means for you to be successful in your life and simply do it.

No comments: