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Monday, September 10, 2012

How do we measure success?

If we measure the success of our lives based on most concrete things, then the answer will always come back in a sadly discouraging manner.

Someone always has more money than we do.

Someone always has a nicer car/house/toy.

Someone always is at a higher level/position than you in your work organization.

Someone always has more and/or better hair.

Someone always is in better physical shape/skinnier/more fit.

What I've found though in my relatively short existence, especially over the past few years, is that everyone has a story, a reason why their life (no matter how wonderful it appears from the outside) is somehow incomplete or lacking.  We are all, barring severe mental or physical illness, equally dysfunctional.  The trick, it seems, is to learn to focus on not what you lack, but rather on what you have.  Now if you have a severe mental or physical illness then your life will be far more difficult than most, but you still have to choose how you will live your life.  Illness or not, it's our decisions about how we perceive and live our lives that I think ultimately define us.

Oh, and if there truly is something that prevents you from living a full life, then you simply have two choices:

1.  Change it.
2.  Live around it.

#1 is not easy, but it is possible, requiring that very rare of American characteristics:  patience.

In the end, I truly think the biggest lesson in life is to learn to live in the moment.  Life, it seems, is a lot like driving a car:  be aware of where you are now, only glance in the rear view mirror every once in a while, and have a rough idea as to where you are going.  

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