Your time is finite — define success by what lies within
What you see on the outside is what you have on the inside. The older I become, the more I realize that this is true. Another way of putting it is, what you seek so shall you find. I know now that success is not what I thought it was and I wasted much of the short time I have upon this Earth striving for it. For me, success equaled the attainment of popularity and profit and the greater the success, the greater the man.
When striving for success, all you see ahead of you are endless differing avenues that promise success in the end. If you have an idea of what you wish to accomplish, only you can make the decision, using only your wit, which avenue will provide the greatest amount of success in the shortest amount of time and effort and the least amount of cost.
Some will spend all of their time and all of their effort before they find out that success is just an idea that can never be attained. Success is simply a thought. It’s an electrical charge flowing from one part of your brain to another. Considered in terms of cost, the striving for success can be very expensive.
Fast-forward to your epitaph. What will it say? Will it say that your efforts to reach your level of success sucked the life right out of you because when I say “cost” I mean the minutes, hours and days. Every minute you spend striving for success is a minute you could have used in other ways.
People who spend a lot of time striving for success live two lives if they are lucky. What does that mean, “if they are lucky?” People with the ambition to seek success do not have friends — they have associates who want them to do well but not as well as they do. They work late nights and early mornings. They are misunderstood and do many things alone. If they’re lucky, they will find a mate that understands their lifestyle and will give them a life outside of the stressful life of striving for success.
So, in the end, if your mindset is bent on seeking success (inside) then all you will see on the outside are the avenues to where you think success might lie. If by chance you take the wrong avenue, you can always go back and take another one — they are all the same. They all use the minutes, hours, and days of your life.
Some say that seeking success is the American dream. It’s obvious to me that the seeking of success at any cost destroys that dream. There are those who deny others the opportunity to seek success by the restriction of personal freedom and the control over governmental decisions. Many are denied access to higher education and employment at a livable wage. The American dream for some is access to health care or a rewarding retirement.
The cost of your success shouldn’t be the failure of others. Think about what you wish to accomplish. Choose carefully the type of people who will inspire you to do your best at everything you want to do. Find out what makes you come alive — what ignites your brain but will feed your spirit at the same time. Do not let the ambition for success deprive you of your life.
Do not strive to be a success — strive to be of value to your community and to those you love. Use your time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do the right thing. Don’t waste your time worrying. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. When you worry, it is either about something that has happened or something you think might happen. If you think about it, you can’t change the past and you have no control over the future, so live in the now and know that worrying is a waste of your life time.
Think about who you love and thank them for making you who you are, for supporting you. Choose your battles wisely. Stand up for equality and human rights. Believe me when I say that it is better to stand with the downtrodden and helpless than to spend the rest of your life wishing you had. Never let the opportunity slip away to help someone else.
In order to do the right thing, all of your atoms, all of your being have to point in the same direction. This one fact of life enables you to tell instinctively what is right and what is wrong. We are born with the power to know what is right or wrong — certainly we all know this. Your actions, when dealing with right or wrong, are the tools others will use to know the real you.
Striving for success is a whole lot easier when there are people who love and respect you pushing you in the right direction. Success is certainly a meal that is better when shared with others.