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Recipe for Success

Updated on March 8, 2008

Is this it?

Success is what you make it

I've lived all my life without a lot of money. I would like to be more successful financially, but in the end I know that money does not bring happiness, necessarily, and sometimes it can really get out of control. One hears the stories of Super Lotto winners who spend all their money really fast and don't know how to maintain the extreme lifestyle they buy into after first becoming rich. Chances are after a few years they have nothing left. So it's a crazy roller-coaster ride that leaves them sick at the stomach and wondering how they can take the next step.

So the recipe for success doesn't have to include a lot of money?

Here's a quote I love that is attributed to Emerson but is most likely not his, though it is often attributed to him. It is now thought to be that of Bessie Stanley... "Apparently, in a collection of quotations on 'success,' her poem appeared on the facing page from a quotation which was from Emerson. Perhaps the mistaken attribution began when someone copied the source inaccurately from that collection. Here's a 1905 article from the Lincoln Sentinel about that version of the quote: Bessie Stanley's Famous Poem"

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.

When I first read this I was so happy - finally a way to be successful that didn't follow our American consumer tradition. I could be successful by being Kind! wow. The Recipes for Success are many and varied. To Donald Trump the ingredients always include a heaping pile of money, fast cars and beautiful women. To Mother Theresa, the recipe was laden with love, humility and compassion. She never yearned for fortune or fame, but became a saint because of her unyielding devotion to help the suffering masses.

Mother and Diana

The Princess in Calcutta
The Princess in Calcutta

Another view

Princess Diana was another pure soul who lived extremely large but never forgot the little people. Her recipe for success required a lot of mixing and stirring, tears and betrayal, then ultimately an infusion of self-esteem and universal love. She was so beautiful, vulnerable and etheric. She was born into greatness, had it thrust upon her, but also achieved it in her own right. We all know her life ended tragically and senselessly, but in that way we will always remember her as young and eternally radiant. She lived as a comet, streaking through our consciousness and blazing her memory on us all. We remember her as a successful mother, friend, and advocate for the needy. We know she rose from the ashes of her failed and very public marriage to become one of history's best-loved women.

I like to think we are all successful in some way. If we achieve our goals, we are successful. The goals don't have to be lofty. I set really simple goals so that I CAN achieve them. Like waking up each day with gratitude. Like going to bed each night with gratitude. Like keeping my credit score high even though I don't have much cash flow. Or perhaps making it a point to wear a smile as much as possible.

The recipe for success begins with a good attitude. Plop some positive energy into your day and events unfold with more harmony.

We all have the power to prepare our unique recipes for success every moment. We add that dash of hope, a cup of inspiration, a pint of imagination, a dollop of determination, fold in some focus and vision and Voila! Success is OURS!


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 9 years ago from United States

      I loved Princess Diana's kindness. I appreciate your viewpoint, especially your words "She was born into greatness, had it thrust upon her, but also achieved it in her own right." Very nice sentiment.