The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.~Buddha
After I graduated from college and started earning a decent paycheck, I spent a fair amount of time flipping through glossy home decorating magazines and meandering through home furnishing stores.
I was “setting up house” for real for the first time in my life. It seemed very important that I get the décor exactly right because it would make an important declaration to the world about my personality and lifestyle.
But choosing just the right style was hard — because I didn’t have my own style yet. Well, no … I knew I must have one. I just had to figure out what it was.
Think about that for a minute. Everyone in the world right now will be gone. Will they have left their mark — had an impact — made a difference? Maybe.
How much can one person matter when there are almost 7 billion people on the planet? At any rate, the people who remember them — were impressed by them, disgusted by them, helped by them, hurt by them, loved by them, hated by them — will all be gone, too.
What matters most to each of us is what happens to us today … here … now. The “long run” is of very little consequence. As Ms. Lamott points out — and as John Maynard Keynes is often quoted (out of context) as saying — in the long run, we’ll all be dead.
We grow primarily through our challenges,
especially those life-changing moments
when we begin to recognize aspects of our nature
that make us different from the family
and culture in which we have been raised.~Caroline Myss
When Oprah Winfrey interviewed Jane Fonda for The Oprah Magazine, these two amazing women touched briefly on the subject of caring about what others think of them.
Oprah:I’ve read that, like me, you’ve always struggled with the disease to please.
Jane:I used to walk into a party and think, Oh, my God, will I be interesting enough? Will people like me? Will I be pretty enough? Do I fit in? Now I go into a room and think, do I really want to be here? Are these people I want to spend a few hours with? It’s a big shift.
Oprah:How did you make the shift?
Jane:Hard work. Growing up.
Jane didn’t elaborate on her answer, and I’m not qualified to speak for her. But I think we can all relate to how she used to feel.
This is such a simple, elegant and inspiring article. Make sure to give this a read. You'll be glad you did. :)
Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.~Howard Thurman
No quote has ever had more of an impact on me than this one.
When I first read it, I was working in the accounting department of a government contractor in Virginia. I was commuting back and forth to the 3-bedroom house on ½ acre that I’d just bought and I was doing it in a sporty little Mazda 626.
I was making a respectable salary. I had parlayed my college degree into a “successful” career, and I was understandably proud of myself.
But I was not alive.
I was just one of hundreds of thousands of bean counters who sat in traffic a couple of hours a day to get to a cubicle in a maze of other cubicles to sit for another 8 to 10 hours a day trying to make numbers add up.