far too easy for us to set our sights on what we want to
be: doctors and lawyers and teachers and
professional athletes and actors, preferably something at
which I can make a decent amount of money. But that
"what" really doesn't do anything to define who
we are--it's merely a means to an end, a way to earn a
living and give ourselves something productive to do to
fill our time. As we see in the news every day, a
law degree does not confer integrity, and a medical degree
does not make a person more compassionate or more loving.
know people who own huge houses but who aren't
happy. I know people who own hovels who aren't
happy. I know people who own both kinds of homes who
are very happy. It's not the home that makes their
happiness, but their sense of self, their character.
They value their character much as an insecure person may
value a diamond, and they spend time and make effort to
develop their character all the time.
would love to be a "successful" writer, selling
millions of copies of my books, but I would rather live
out my days being fulfilled and satisfied. The two
aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but I'm not going
to pursue the former so hard that I'm going to lose the
latter if I don't become the million-selling author.
want to be someone upon whom others can depend. I
want to be true to my friends and my family. I want
to give all that I can give to others without depleting
myself. I know what kind of character I want to
have, and that's much more important to me than any
"success" built upon recognition ever could be.