"Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another,forming new wishes, and seeing them gratified.
 -- Samuel Johnson
When I was in my twenties, success to me was having things . . . lots of BIG things. Big houses, fancy cars, people to take care of my every need.  Ambitious?  Absolutely!

Problem was, each morning I woke up without these things, I was a failure. For years I lived my life with my success measure saying I had failed every day.

One day I decided to stop playing that silly game. It was wearing me down, and not making me happy.

I decided to re-evaluate what success means to me. When will I know I am successful? What does it look like/feel like/sound like? Who else will be in my life? Who and what will impress me?

It has taken a long time for me to really get to a place where success to me means showing up daily in my life playing full tilt. If that means staying in bed till 8 a.m. (which is late for me), then I really enjoy, love and relish my sleep in. If full tilt Sunday is reading a pile of fashion magazines, then I go for it with complete abandon.

It also means that I show up fully in all of my relationships, my work, my sport, my cleaning up, chores, and tasks of living. It may not mean stuff . . . actually, I am no longer a stuffologist.  Stuff can be complicating.

Every day that I show up 100% in the game of my life, I am successful. I go to bed and sleep soundly each night. I walk away from tasks and chores knowing that I did a great job.

The people who impress me are no longer the ones appearing to be surrounded by lots of stuff.  The people who impress me are the ones who go for it, live authentically, take risks, take a stand, tell themselves and others the truth, challenge convention. Paradoxically, these people are often very successful materially as well, and, they remain humble in their wealth.

Success is now a great place to live. Most every day I am really successful.

Copyright 2001 Christine McDougall
How do you define success?

Is your definition serving your life and your happiness, or costing you your spirit and soul?.

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