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What is success?

We all want to be “successful”. But what does “success” mean?
Here’s what Ralph Waldo Emerson thinks about it:

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.

I guess if you nail that list you’re doing pretty well. Have your say in the comments: do you agree with Ralph or is it just cheesy twaddle?

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  1. Oh but cheesy twaddle is sometimes so necessary…

  2. I agree with that! That’s one of my favourite quotes!

  3. Like many things, I see both sides of this question: “What is success?” Half of me believes that the things listed here do indeed help to define a successful person… and the other half of me believes that this might just be (as you say) “cheesy twaddle” that we make up to trick ourselves into feeling better about not really understanding the true answer to this question. I’m somewhere in the middle. It’s an interesting thing to think about nevertheless.

  4. Hi Al – success? Giving a talk motivating enough for a 14 year old book-hating dsylexic boy to ask for one of your books for Christmas. That’s success 🙂 Cheers, Luke



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