What Does it Mean to be Successful?
The great philosopher Thomas Carlyle once wrote, "Let each become all that he was created
capable of being." I can't think of a better definition of success. Life challenges us every
day to develop our capabilities to the fullest. We're successful when we reach for the highest
that's within us - when we give the best we have.
The quote at the beginning of this chapter says that success is in the doing, not the
getting. I can't emphasize that point enough. Life doesn't require us to always come
out on top. It asks only that we do our best at each level of experience. This is what
successful do in some of the most important areas of life:
• Successful people accept life as it is, with all its difficulties and
challenges. They adapt to it rather than complain about it. They accept responsibility
for their own lives instead of blaming of making excuses. They say YES to life in spite
of its negative elements and make the most of it, no matter what the circumstances.
• Successful people develop and maintain a positive attitude toward life.
They look for good in others and in the world, and usually seem to find it. They see life
as a series of opportunities and possibilities, and always explore them.
• Successful people build good relationships. They're sensitive to the needs
and feelings of others. They're considerate and respectful. They have a way of bringing
out the best in other people.
• Successful people have a sense of direction and purpose - they know where
they're going. They set goals, accomplish them, and then set new goals. They accept and
• Successful people have a strong desire to learn: about life, the world,
and themselves. They see learning as a joy, not a duty. They continually enrich their
lives by learning new things and improving themselves. They are always discovering, always
• Successful people are action-oriented. They get things done because
they're not afraid of hard work, and they don't get into ruts or become bored because
they're too busy looking for new experiences.
• Successful people maintain high standards in their personal conduct.
They know that honesty is one of the main ingredients in the character of a good person.
They are consistently truthful in both their private and public lives.
• Successful people understand that difference between existing and living,
and always choose the latter. They get the most out of life because they put the most into it.
They reap what they sow. And they enjoy life to the fullest.
The above is an excerpt from:
One reader says, "A very thought provoking overview of the simple (yet not so simple) job of making
the most of your life. Written in a down-to earth style that makes it easy to understand, yet still
challenges you to reach to become more of what is good and right in order to succeed in life. Begins
with a look at what success is and is not, and moves on to how your choices and reactions to
circumstances direct where your life will go. Topics include, Life is hard, Life is Fun, Attitude,
Habits, Thankfulness, Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Self-motivation, Goals, Hard work, Sacrifice,
Time Management, Self image, Balanced Care of Body, Mind and Spirit, and Persistance in the Face of Failure.
A great choice for teachers, parents and those who guide youth. A very enjoyable read... because it is so true!
I'm planning on giving several as gifts! What a fabulous book! Read it! You won't be sorry!"
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