I don’t usually go in for quotations – I find most of them a bit trite or cheesy. But I love this quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I wrote out and framed when I was fifteen. I found it a few months ago when I was unpacking a load of random knick-knacks that had been in storage for ages while we were having building work done. The writing’s really faded now (and I have totally different handwriting! I think this must have been my pretentious ‘posh’ script), but I enjoy reading it today every bit as much as I did when I wrote it over 20 years ago.
I’ve had a few chats recently with friends of a similar age, about success – we’ve all reached the age that when we were younger we all thought we’d have everything sorted – the age we thought we’d have finally achieved this elusive ‘success’. Yet most of us feel that we still have no idea what we’re really doing and feel like we’re fumbling our way through life in a very haphazard way. The general feeling is that we all thought we’d have things a bit more ‘together’ by now than we do. Finding this frame was lovely, and reminded me that even from a young age I’ve never really gauged success by material things or ‘being sorted’, or all the practical things I still feel I haven’t quite got to grips with yet. Now it sits on my desk so I can see it every day.
These words still ring really true for me, and reassure me that, in all the ways I’ve always thought were important, I have succeeded. I may have been a total tool when I was 15 (my poor parents will verify this) but it seems I did have one small ounce of sense in there somewhere.
What does success mean to you?