I put up a quote in my last post. It basically asked a simple question what do you feel makes up a successful life. It was based on a quote I received via email from a blogging friend:
” Success is to be measured not so much by the position people have reached in life but by the obstacles they have overcome.” Booker T Washington.
Over the past few years with all this dying business, I have come to my own conclusions as to what makes up a successful life. Worldly achievements or accomplishments while nice and may be self gratifying at the time, may well mean nothing in the end, in the overall big picture of life. You well may have had a spectacular career in your chosen field or work.You well may be lauded by piers and all that know you as being a great success. You may well feel that way yourself at the time and good for you. You have worked hard and deserve the recognition. Is that a successful life? Well maybe or maybe not.
Trust me, I know as you know you are nearing the end of your days, perspectives change. Try to imagine this. You are lying on your death bed. What thoughts on your life do you think may be running through your head at that time. At that time do you still think having had a spectacular career, will in your mind, by itself still seem like a successful life. I some how seriously doubt that.
I think most if not all when in that situation will look back over life with a lot of regrets or I at least know that is how I see it. We then face the if only’s. By that time it is too late to do anything but sadly look back. Generally I think we like to take the path of least resistance. Take the easiest way to get through the day. Taking that easy way is to avoid obstacles be they real or imaginary. How many times has a perceive obstical caused us to alter our course, change our plans our goals even if just ever so slightly.
Skirting or avoiding a obstical usually doesn’t remove it from our lives. It just temporarily move it to the side where it stays but continually comes back to poke us again and again. It is like having a monkey on our back. With time this avoidance of issues can become a pattern, until more and more monkeys climb on our shoulders. Enough and we get weighed down to the point we are exhausted just carrying that weight and we flounder. We are so weighed down we lose sight of our own lives we miss out on so much and the regrets begin to compile. We always take tomorrow for granted until suddenly we are shocked taken totally by surprise when we realize tomorrow will not be there. It is too late to improve things, too late to change things. Sad.
For me living a good life is living one with no regrets left on the table.