Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Success in Life

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.


7 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Success in Life

  1. I think much more short-term than you do; I concentrate more on the Right Now, on making this moment the best moment it can be.

    Hi Thomas, welcome and thank you for the comment.I totally agree with you. If we concentrate on the moment and making the best of it. The big picture will take care of itself.

  2. I nearly drowned two years ago and when I was fighting the current and losing conciousness I didn’t think once about the practical things I’d done, I thought of people. I had to sort things with my ex boyfriend and I had to sort things with my Dad. I had to sort things with God, I’d always thought I was ready to meet him but I very quickly realized I wasn’t. I was terrified. I didn’t drown, was saved in the nick of time, but have never forgotten the feeling that I wasn’t ready to go.

    At the end of last year I moved half the length of my country to study for a degree my family suggested but and I have just pulled out. I don’t want to study for a degree I hate because my family thinks I should do it.

    I have been thinking about what I think success is and I think owning my own home, having a successful career, and never being short of money add to success in life but do not make it. If I can stand before God and my loved ones and be proud of what I have done and know that I have contributed to others lives in a positive way….maybe that is success. I’m still deciding.

    I haven’t told my family I’ve withdrawn from university yet, I don’t know how to tell them but I will tell them sometime soon.

    I know I’m making the right decision and that makes me smile. Maybe I’m on the path to success now…?

    Hi Katherine, welcome to the blog. I thank you for sharing such a deeply personal time in your life with us. I thank God you were saved from that river. A near death experience is eye opening. For me anyway, I do see most things differently. I see more clearly who and what is important in my life and what or who is not. It is a wonderful thing to have your eyes opened in this way and I say good for you.
    I speak for myself here now as a parent. Parents want what is best for their children. In a parents mind financial security does fit into that picture. But, What I want most in this world for my children is for them to be happy. Yes, financial security for them would be nice and make me feel more comfortable. But that is the thing, it would make me feel more comfortable as a parent. Parents have to accept that their children are living their own lives, doing what they feel is best for themselves.
    I don’t knowyour circumstances, but I say everything being equal, follow you heart and live the life that is right for you and be proud of yourself in doing it.
    Talk to your parents letting them know what is in your heart.
    Take care of yourself. Your spiritual, physical and mental health are the most important.

  3. Mel says:

    ” Success is to be measured not so much by the position people have reached in life but by the obstacles they have overcome.”

    I’m celebrating for Katherine–she gets it! And that’s what I call success. But when I do what I do, I’m clear keeping track of the little differences, those efforts to overcome obstacles–those people are my heroes. They just are.
    It’s not great wealth, glitzy possessions, ‘stuff’…..it’s the people who work to bring different to their lives and to the lives of others–those are success stories for me.

    You’re one of them, for me.

    And now I have another–Katherine. 🙂

    Thank you Mel as always we are in perfect sync.

  4. Henri says:

    I view life and death as a circular movement, wherein the process merely represents a transformation and not finality.
    Death – the last sleep?
    No, it is the final awakening.

    We hear those preparing to leave describing visits from their husband, wife, mother, father, or others who have passed over. The visitors come to assist them or help them make a smooth transition over to the other side.
    When our time arrives to meet our Makers, many have fear and doubt. They know what this world is like, but they don’t know what the other world is like. They don’t trust the Great One who placed them here initially. We, as human beings, tend to fear the unknown – and later realize our fears were unfounded.
    I fear no death; We will all meet again at another time and place as Creator continues to cross our paths with others.

    Live for today, in a good way, in the service of others.

    Wow,Henri I am left speechless after watching that video. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us. My mind is just boggled.
    Your comment is wonderful.You have stated my beliefs in such a wonderful way.
    Henri, you are living your life “Live for today, in a good way, in the service of others”. That is you my friend. I am proud to be able to call you my brother-in-law and my friend.

    • Mel says:


      Talk about pure, self-less love…….

      “pure self-less love” says it all. I am humbled by this man’s actions.

  5. Cat says:

    I once read a quote that I now cannot find or recall verbatim, but it said something to the effect of, “When I die, I only hope it matters that I lived.” That’s how I measure my own success — if I’ve left the world a little better than I found it, if I’ve helped people and animals in need to the best of my ability, then I’ve been successful.

    Great video, Henri! I remember seeing that one a year or two ago and just crying my eyes out watching it.

    Hi Cat, nice to hear from you. I think you hit it right on: “if I’ve left the world a little better than I found it, if I’ve helped people and animals in need to the best of my ability, then I’ve been successful.” Excellent

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