“To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live – that is to have succeeded.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Do you compare to others? Car? House? Money? Designer clothes? Do you base your personal success on that comparison?
STOP! Just stop. Our Western culture has fed all of us a pack of lies regarding success. As a result you probably work more than you need in order to buy things you don’t really need. And whom are you impressing? The Joneses most likely don’t give a hoot about that shiny new car or your spouse’s wardrobe. In the end when one makes an accounting of one’s life, all of us, yes every single one, will go wherever we believe we are going without a stitch of designer jeans, no fancy ride, and not one of those gleaming diamonds purchased with hard work and sacrifice. Nada, zilch, nothing!
Then what will we take across into the next phase? Perhaps integrity, compassion, stewardship, honesty, conscience? How about selflessness? What good have we done for this creation? The preservation of natural habitats, the protection of wildlife, the concern for the homeless, the compassion for immigrants, the love for the arts, the kind word to a lonely man, the dedication to peace, the restrictions on personal consumption are all ways to view our lives as astonishing successes no matter how small or how grand.
Don’t fall for the world’s allure. It is fleeting and destructive. It will not satisfy your need to feel successful. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s a great day whether spent in an elegant mansion or a modest apartment, whether the ride to town is a limo or a bicycle, whether the jeans are Jordache or WalMart. Stuff does not matter. Repeat that a dozen times as you compose today’s gratitude list.
stuff does not matter!