I remember as a child reading some piece of advice that stuck with me.
“Decide what you like in others, what kind of characteristics or qualities you find admirable or worthy, and then become the person you want to be accordingly.”
I made a list, a simple list back then, and decided I would do just that. Many of the things on the list I already was inherently. But some I had to work at. I did. I do. And I continue to revisit this list throughout my life and compare it to who I am at the time. It has become my own measuring stick of success.
I equate success with intangible things like being most of the things on my list, or positively affecting another person’s life. I measure success in quality of love and of laughter and listening. And I think this helps put things in perspective for me. It is only when I start to look to other measuring sticks to gauge my own success that I struggle with distorted self-images.
And I have to admit, that has been my problem for awhile. I have been trying to measure myself against a different standard, a standard I can never reach. So, I am revisiting the list and the girl I once was…who was so very intelligent and wonderful so many years ago, the girl who started the list. And I am going to ask…
What does she think about it all today?
And it is my guess she would still choose love and laughter and listening over dollars and promotions and constant new professional goals. She would choose people over things. She would choose living over accumulating. She would choose a good book over a movie or a TV program any day, any time. She would spend less time focused on all that she had done wrong and more time on what she can do right.
And so should I. So should I!