Success can be something that is gentle. It doesn’t have to be huge. Most importantly, we don’t have to keep measuring ourselves up to bigger definitions of success and consequently feel like a failure.
This poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson sums this up beautifully. It was recently read at my friend’s mum’s funeral and I found it deeply touching:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Some things take longer than you credit – like leaving home or work to go out. Packing up your bag, finding your mobile, keys, putting on shoes and coats. All this faffing about takes time. It might mean a few trips into rooms that you’ve already been into to find items. And then you might need to go back and check if you’ve closed the windows, turned off the iron, locked the door, picked up the paperwork or book that you need ……
Sometimes, if you have plenty of time before you need to leave, you start doing other things or rest for a bit and then suddenly more time has passed than you reckoned and it’s a rush to leave again.
Rushing and panicking, if you’re behind time, can have an impact on the mind and body. The back and neck can tighten, we can hold our breath, our heart can beat faster, our mind can go a bit manic.
So it’s worth factoring in time to find things, pack things, put things on. And to pause. To stop physically for a few moments to come to calm and to be able to think clearly. Now breathe …..