It’s been debated whether Ralph Waldo Emerson actually uttered or wrote these words. But I found them worth sharing.
1. To laugh often and much;
2. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
3. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
4. To appreciate beauty;
5. To find the best in others;
6. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
7. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
What can you add to the list?
Which one do you struggle with the most?
I know I don’t laugh enough. I’m often too consumed by what “needs” to get done. Or whether those around me are doing what they “should” be doing to keep our lives in some kind of order. I’m a control freak, what can I say. But the other six? I like to think I have those covered, if only in a small way.
What I love about this “quote” is that it in no way mentions financial worth or how much stuff we have collected or the kind of car we drive. I admit, these “things” mattered to me at one point (and, okay, I’d
like love to have some lots of financial stability so that I don’t have to worry about how we’ll send our son to college or how/if we’d ever survive another layoff) but I’ve been through enough to know money and stuff do not and should not equal true success. Or happiness, for that matter.
Side note: To those who use money and/or material things as measuring sticks for my worth, you’re probably not going to pick me as a friend. Your loss.
And now for what I believe are real Emerson quotes related to success:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”
A quote about quotes…
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.”