Sunday, April 20, 2008

Success

So far I have four or five working pages of scattered notes about success - what I think it is, what I think I am, what my partner thinks, what "they" think. I'm working today to combine them into a coherent mess to take to my therapist tomorrow. At least, this isn't something that I've cried over all week. I've been thinking about it deeply, but I'm not sniveling all week.

My categories on one sheet are finances, education, career, relationships, spirituality, physical, adn something else (papers are in the dining room). On another sheet, I put down what are/seem to be necessities for me to function at my best - like safety, good bed, good food, love, respect, availablity of new ideas,.... The "they" sheet includes things like peer respect, good salary, retirement planned, job title, ability to travel, high degree of education, long time in one field,.....

My partner said, "Don't tell me what you are, tell me who you are." If you are happy with who you are, then you are a success. Of course, she named three or four successes for me that were career achievements, but she also listed five qualities that she considers to be who I am - one of them was inquiring...the others were to be supposed from a partner - loving, caring....

Success has so many definitions and connotations that I find it difficult to contain. One thing is certain, I will not be able to say truthfully again that I am worthless. And, yes, I know that none of God's creation is worthless, but don't we all feel that sometimes?

What is your definition of success? Do you judge others the same way you judge yourself? I'd like to hear your responses.

7 comments:

jadedjabber said...

I am very good at giving other people the advice that I tend not to follow myself. I don't often feel very successful. What I have realized recently is that I have been involved in things that are not organic to who I am. I have been trying to be someone I am not. No wonder I don't feel successful at it! So today, I say that the biggest success I have had in my life in the last few years is realizing who I am and where I want to go. Everything else is just details.

Lindy said...

Sharecropper,

I hope therapy was successful for you yesterday. There are worse therapy topics you know.

For me, I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Lindy

Songbird said...

What great homework for therapy!
Have you read Henri Nouwen's "Life of the Beloved" by any chance? If not, you might find it talks about the brokenness and sense of worthlessness we all do feel at times.

shallotpeel said...

"My private measure of success is daily. If this were to be the last day of my life would I be content with it? To live in a harmonious balance of commitments and pleasures is what I strive for." - Jane Rule [born 03-28-31, died 11-27-07]

Juanuchis said...

I love the Jane Rule quote. I think that's true, and it's something that I have to strive toward.

I'm my own worst critic, and my problem is dwelling on negativity. I'm determined to change that!

My dad has been such an inspiration to me. He hated his employment, but did it and did it well because it was expected, and he had a family to support. Now he paints, and paints, and paints. Unlike him, I don't want to wait till retirement do paint and paint and paint! :)

Love you, Sharecropper!

Diane said...

I hope your therapy session went well. I've been thinking of these things myself lately. I think success is feeling like my life, in some sense, has borne fruit. but how do we really know that it has?

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