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Posts Tagged ‘success’

This quote pretty much sums up the conclusion I have come to about life at the moment.  It is widely attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, although this attribution may apparently be false.  Whoever it was to first say it, I reckon they had their head screwed on and actually got what life is about.  I think this is my new mantra to live by.

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 or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

It gives me goosebumps.

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Think about this:

What is really important in life? The job you do?  Or the people you love?

Or in the words of Morrie Schwartz (and he was dying, man – dying people have this whole other perspective.  I think maybe all our lives would be better if we realised that we are all dying):

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
~ Morrie Schwartz

Maybe life is more about who we are than what we do.  About who we spend it with and how we share ourselves.

I had a life, elsewhere, that sounded successful and meaningful.  I got good grades and was doing something society reveres as altruistic and significant.  I hated it.

I’m am happier right now – jobless and directionless in my Mum’s lounge in my favourite city with the people I love and who love me – than I have been in a long, long time.  If I could spend my life here, in the city I love with the people I love, it really barely even matters what I do with my day.

Or finally, in the words of one of my favourite pieces of writing:

What if you could be more present and open-hearted with each person you encounter working as a cashier in the corner store, a parking lot attendant or filing clerk than you could if you were striving to do something you think is more important?

How would this change how you want to spend your precious time on this earth?

~ Oriah

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