About success and leaving a trace

 

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I wanted to write about success. I started this post so many times, and each time I dropped the words in unfinished sentences. It wasn’t clear to me how to structure the text or how to go around this topic.

Difficult? Yes. Challenging? Definitely.

Media channels paint “success in shiny colours and write the word in CAPITAL letters. We are all herded to take part in a hollow, shallow race with a promise of a finish line full of victory stories, glory and praise. And based on your position, you become a winner or a failure. As success is a goal on its own, depleted by any meaning.

This is a linear image of a cruel reality which doesn’t consider that not all of us are good athletes. That some of us don’t even want to take part in this winning – losing game defined by others.

Being successful became these days an ego story, of showing off, of winning competitions, of staying in the rat race, of forgetting the meaning. The meaning of the race, the why of success.

In spite of what society expects from us and, in spite of what society teaches us that success must be, I do believe that success is an intimate, personal story and I am a firm supporter of the idea that each individual has to find its own definition.

With the time passing by (a different way of saying I am getting older) more and more I see success as the equivalent of leaving traces. Traces of ourselves dedicated to the good of others. Traces of our existence that made and make a difference. And here I’m not thinking about “making it big” or creating the most successful IT company that ever existed (congrats if you manage to do so and if this is what brings you joy and makes a difference for the better in the lives of others).

I see the stay-at-home mom dedicating all her time and energy to raising her children being as successful as the doctor who wants to find a cure for cancer, or as the surgeon that made a heart transplant. And no, it is not a forced comparison. They are all successful, they are making a difference. Only on different levels. They found their meaning and they leave traces. Pieces of themselves for the higher good, but on a different scale.

Mother Teresa was saying that “in this lifetime we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love”.

For me, success means leaving a trace. Success is finding the meaning of your actions. And in the meaning of the actions hides the joy and the love for others.

Success is far more than a generous bank account and a fancy job title.

Success as I see it is going to bed having a smile on your face knowing that you did your best to leave a trace of yourself, a trace of your love for you and for others. This trace takes the shape of a smile that brightened a person’s cloudy day and it smells like a cake baked on a late Thursday evening by an exhausted mother.

Success is having at the end of the day a light heart and a peaceful mind knowing that through your actions you offered bits of yourself to the world. Success is having the awareness that thanks to those tiny pieces you might have made someone else’s day a bit better.

Success is a private story. Success is having the knowledge that the motivation of your actions is far beyond the ego’s voice and far beyond the recognition and the ovations that society pushes us to believe we need.

 

Lots of love,

Sharing Simple Love

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