think that we've been done a great disservice by our
society, the one that tells us that success has to do with
money or power or status or country club memberships.
Success has nothing to do with any of that--unless you
believe that it does. For most of us, success is a
much different picture, but we often don't recognize it
because we believe that success has to be in the public
eye. We need other people to acknowledge our success
and call it such, and that's very sad.
I decided to be a teacher, I knew from the beginning that I
would never measure success by the amount of money in my
bank account. Nor would I be able to measure it by
power and prestige, unless I decided to try to be a
principal or a superintendent--but then I would no longer be
a teacher. I would have to find my own ways to measure
success, and they would have to have something to do with
the learning that my students do and the feelings of
accomplishment that I have. And in a field like
teaching, everyone's idea of success is different, which
makes things even more difficult!
have talents. Do you use them? Can you use them
in your job, or do you have to use them away from
work? Either way, using your talents can lead you to
success, even if no one else ever recognizes your
success. Use the talents you have, be they obvious
ones, such as art or music or athletics, or be they more
hidden, like being a good listener, being good at math, or
giving good advice when it's needed. Don't depend on
societal definitions of success to determine whether or not
you're successful--I know that society as a whole will never
tell me that I'm a good teacher or not, but I know in my
heart that I've given all I can to my teaching, and I feel
successful in it.
combination of abilities is unique to you, and the picture
you paint when you use them is one of a truly unique
lifetime. Paint it well, and use the gifts you've been
given to help others, be it on the job, as a volunteer, or
in your personal life. Many will appreciate all that
you give, and you will be wonderfully successful, whether
that success is recognized by others or not.