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The measure of success

February 1, 2015

Every day I look at my life and do my best to speak to the gratitude for what I have and have achieved.  It is a vital practice for maintenance of the spirit and soul.  It’s necessary to help my thinking and to avoid regression into self-pity and the default human standard which tends to tell me I am not going to get something I want or what I have is going to be taken away.

Gratitude is my shield against fear.  It is my weapon to fight off selfish and negative behaviors, defensive attitudes and self-righteous or arrogant actions and conduct.  Fear will always slay my mood, my best thinking, my attitude and every single positive outcome of a potential day… if I am not able to recognize and arrest it before it does any harm.

It is in how I am able to recognize fear and battle any demons or voices that I measure my success in this life.  All other results, on the inside or the outside come directly from how aware I have become in this endeavor.  Can I be aware at all times?  Certainly not.  But I can commit to myself to try, to work as hard as possible, building routines and habits that can lead me down a path towards better results.  It is within the creation of these habits and routines where I find my greatest success, it is there I am able to remotely understand the true value of gratitude and the gifts it will provide to each day.

How is “success” measured?  Can it be as simple as accomplishing a task?  Does it need to be as complex as reaching astronomical financial goals?  Are we a failure if either of these things is not met?  Is it not true that every failure is in itself a success in terms of knowledge and growth of the very same human spirit that strives for the changes and manifestations of accomplishment?  Sometimes my failures are steps towards my ultimate success.  Sometimes my failures are meant to show me I am not walking in the right direction at all.

Is success measured by comparison to others?  Unfortunately that is often the case.  It is so easy to look at other human beings when they are apparently enjoying the very things we would believe as our barometers of success.  Why do I not have that house, that boat, that job, that relationship or that much money?  I am obviously not as “successful” as whomever I am comparing myself to… that person who has what I want.

I don’t know about anyone else but I always lose when I compare myself to anyone or anything else.  Invariably I am going to get the short end of the stick in this sort of match up.  How do I know my life would be complete and fulfilled were I to have whatever it is I see you having?  I don’t.  I can’t know this.  It is important for me to remember those who have things I THINK I want or need may not necessarily feel the success I am surmising would be mine should I have them.

And, as has been proven to me over and over again in my life, I am not always the best judge for what is right for me.  What I have thought would spell success for me in years gone by would not suit me today.  I have achieved far different, far better types of goals in the natural progression of my path.  I would likely have sold myself short by “achieving” any of the goals or things I thought were the mark of success in the past.  They were someone else’s experience, I am having my own.

Most important is the reminder that I should never measure success with another person at all.  The true measure of success is within myself, from where I began.  Today I am considerably different in so many ways to the person I have been in the past.  This is a direct result of willingness, an open mind and the honesty to allow my world to be guided not only by achievement, but through mistakes, failure and a lot of patience in progress.

In the end I measure my success through the gratitude.  Each piece of gratitude I offer is a positive offering of hope, trust and satisfaction.  This attitude of acceptance and understanding of the magical measurement of each moment is going to help me to combat the need to wish to be or have something more.  Time will provide what I am supposed to have and be.  Time will undoubtedly gift me with many more successes.  I am going to educate and do my best each day to achieve these, but whatever they are, the goal really only needs to be happiness.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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