Most people strive daily to perform on some level. And we measure our success by the profit of that striving in the form of a paycheck, a sales quota, or some other form of increase. But that’s not really the measure of success in life. Those are the fruits or byproducts of the time we’ve traded for them. Life is really not about what we do, but who we become in the process. Our Western culture suggests that bigger is better, and more is prestigious. But author George Leonard suggests, “We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.”
So then, life is more about personal growth than personal accumulation. Really; how much are you going to get to take with you when you leave this world? All of the spoils of this earth go to someone else when we pass on. I’m not suggesting that we give up trying, become lazy, or become socially dependent. But let’s evaluate priorities and begin understanding what’s really important. Where we invest our time makes all the difference. Inspirational philosopher Jim Rohn once said, “We must all suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weight tons.” All we have is today. Period. Really, all we have is this moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived. We can attempt to arrange the activities of the future, but nothing disrupts that faster than the arrival of the unpredictable. Are your day’s chosen activities as important as you think?
No regrets either. Mastery of life is simply, when we know better we do better. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” For me, that is the real definition of success. One day at a time, one moment at a time, savoring each second of this journey as the blessing it truly is.