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Happiness Realized - What Is Success?


 


Wealth. A lofty position in society. Luxurious possessions. Power. These are the benchmarks by which many people define success. A big bank account is too often valued over intelligence, kindness, fulfillment, or generosity. But what is real success? Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that it is "To laugh often and much...To appreciate beauty...To give of one's self" and "To have played and laughed with enthusiasm" His striking words hold a deeper meaning about the unique relationship between the path to success and the eventual destination. The most successful people, those who feel most accomplished, are simply those who have taken the necessary steps to do that which they have always wanted to do. 


The tendency to encapsulate success can make it seem unattainable. We dream of becoming wealthy, embarking upon the perfect career, or owning a second home. But while success involves both desire and achievement, it is also touches every aspect of our lives. As one goal is fulfilled, more rear up to take its place and success can seem no closer. Earnest feelings of success cannot be hinged on one dream because success includes all areas of our lives: family, community, career, relationships, charity, and personal enjoyment. 

Taking the first step toward a better future, showing the world to a child, or learning something new can all inspire feelings of success. As such, success cannot be gauged by the accomplishments of others for each individual has their own idea of success. Ask yourself: Am I useful to those around me? Do I live in the present, enjoying what life has to offer? Am I free in my heart to embark upon new ventures? If you are satisfied with your own striving, focusing on what you want to do, and working to be the best you can be, there is no need to be better than those around you. 

As human beings, we require spiritual fulfillment as well as material gain. Like all things of value, the search for success requires hard work, a positive attitude, will power, and determination. But while true success comes when we pursue meaningful goals and explore new challenges, the path to success has many branches
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