What is Success?

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and

the affection of children;

To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure

the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To give of one’s self;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and

sung with exultation;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you

have lived –

This is to have succeeded.

I remember having such a dysfunctional relationship with success when I was younger. It was so unhealthy that it led to destructive relationships, cocaine addiction and several suicide attempts before I was 25. I remember reading this Emerson poem and crying because everything he wrote about felt like it was so far away I needed a passport to get there.

Success wasn’t far from me at all, but it wasn’t until I learned the difference between appearing successful and being successful that my life got better. My hope for today is that you find the difference for yourself.

Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.


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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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