January 31

Today's quotation:

Success is what you do with the ability that you have, how you use your talent.  It doesn't necessarily mean any one thing.


George Allen

Today's Meditation:

I 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.

When 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!

You 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.

Your 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.

Questions to consider:

How do you define success?

What kinds of things that others see as success do you not see as such?

How can you figure out just what your strongest abilities, gifts, and talents are?  How can you put them to use?
For further thought:

I believe that a successful life is one that springs from the deep intuition of the heart--finding a passion, a calling that not only fulfills our dreams, but leads us to be of service to family, friends, and community.  Once that calling is clear, true success lies in living with kindness and respect as constant companions in all one's undertakings.


Gloria Loring
  

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