Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thoughts on 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 to 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, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love the above quote, but this hasn't always been how I viewed success. In my 20's I thought that it was all about making money and getting stuff. I worked hard for promotions and although working hard is a virtue, I did it for all the wrong reasons. I gained material things, but still felt empty. And I never took the time to figure out why, I just kept "shopping". Then I lost it all.

What a wake-up call! I had a very difficult year and when I started to recover, I realized what was really important; and it had nothing to do with the car I drove or how big my house was. I discovered that everything I thought I'd wanted before was not really all that important. What is important? The relationships that I have with the people I love and care about. Finding work that fulfills me. (Side bar - I know that this isn't always possible - that there are times when we have to do ANY work to survive - to take care of our family. In that case, I would seek fulfillment in my hobbies.) Seeking joy in the little things. Simplifying life.

I work hard now to take care of my family and I am proud of that. It's a different life than I've ever lived, but it's a good one. I have my priorities straight. And to many people I'm sure I look like a failure - but they don't define my measure of success. Not anymore. Not ever again.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate


  1. There couldn't be truer words, Joyce. Simpley beautiful!!!

  2. beautiful and brilliant! your life spreads joy. period. AND PRICELESS.

  3. Thank you Leslie and Robin! :-)