The Search For Success

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The two most important aspects of blogging for me come from the relationships that are developed with people I otherwise never would have met and the things that I learn about myself. Here in my cybersandbox I open Pandora’s Box and unleash the secrets and demons that were once secured within. I shine lights on the dark places of my heart and soul and investigate that which I have shoved inside.

A man has secrets. Some of them are those of whimsy and some are far more serious. There is a dark side to my moon and a wanderlust in my heart that I can’t ignore for long. I have questions. I wonder about things. Some are simple and some are sophisticated. I think about my life and wonder if I am doing what I need to be. Am I on track to go where it is I wish to be or am I stuck treading water.

It comes down to a simple question. Am I living my dreams or dreaming my life. If I can’t answer that question without hesitation than something is wrong. If I can’t say that every day I am doing the things that I need to do to live my dreams than I am failing. And the most important part of that answer is making sure that I never…ever….lie to myself.

I am not suggesting that it is ok to lie to anyone but the worst thing you can do is lie to yourself. And that is a major part of why I shine the light on those dark places. That is why I sometimes look backwards and explore the times that I have failed. I want to understand what I did wrong so that I can avoid making the same mistake again.

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A short time ago I found myself  struggling to figure out how I had fallen down the rabbit hole and wondering why it felt like I had tumbled ass over elbow the entire way down. And then I came across that quote from Emerson and remembered that I am most certainly on track. I am locked in and on target. I am not doing it the easy way. The climb to the top isn’t in the comfort of the cable car or via helicopter. My way is a little bit harder and takes much longer than the other two- but it is infinitely more rewarding.

There is much more to be said and far more to be shared with you but the witching hour fast approaches and I must prepare for it. The demons roam free at night and to quote Batman I feel like dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight. If you never test yourself you never find out what it is you are capable of.  One more quote to share before I go to do battle:

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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12 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    @cathy.reaves That last sentence is the key- I really like it. <i>I can only move forward by understand where I’ve been.</i>

  2. cathy.reaves August 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    “Am I on track to go where it is I wish to be or am I stuck treading water.” I am neither. I view myself as a being constantly evolving. Learning new things, changing styles and tastes, growing wiser. I know that my track is not yet determined – there is no end goal, there is no finish line – only to lead the best possible life with the cards I was dealt.

    My posts are often reflective for similar reasons. I can only move forward by understand where I’ve been.

  3. TheJackB August 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    @NinaBadzin Hey Nina. I liked your post about blogging. I would love to be paid to do this, but I’ll keep writing either way. It brings me joy and clarity to unleash the fingers upon the keyboard.

    If we don’t set goals for ourselves life seems to be a little less interesting, at least for me it does.

    I had planned on going to BlogHer but with the move I am not sure if I am going to make it down or not. There is a chance that it will still happen, just won’t know until later.

  4. NinaBadzin August 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I liked this post a lot, Jack. I often enjoy coming here once a week to catch up on several posts at once! As for success and reaching for goals/dreams–I think it’s enough to work towards SOMETHING. We can’t always do it every day, but it’s nice to have something larger in the cooker.

    I agree the relationships made via blogging have been incredible! Are you going to BlogHer? I’m way too pregnant and it’s too far away. But I thought since you’re out west . . .?

  5. weforgotyounot July 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    @TheJackB Who knew?!! NOT me! He’s too creepy for me. That’s ptobably why I never watched…husband laughs all the way through..Thanks for finding that. Proof.

  6. TheJackB July 31, 2011 at 8:53 am

    @Faryna Hi Stan. We could have a great discussion about success and happiness and whether they are the same/different.

    I am intrigued by the sound of your next post and looking forward to reading it. You are right that there is some sort of synchronicity there- coincidence or more I can’t say.

  7. TheJackB July 31, 2011 at 8:50 am

    @bdorman264 Bill, I love when I hear people say that they are living the dream. With so many people going through hard times now it is always good to mix in the positive.

    And Emerson, well I have grown very fond of that man. It is funny because I used to dislike him very much. You can blame that on a 9th grade English assignment. But I am glad to say that I have found much practical advice in the things that he said/wrote a century ago.

    No worries about nancyd68 – I have a secret plan. 😉

  8. TheJackB July 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    @weforgotyounot Hey Betsy. That quote comes from the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

    http://youtu.be/8gfMXEmCew4

  9. Billy_Delaney July 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

    The word and enough at that!

  10. Faryna July 31, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Success and Happiness may be confused with one another. For all the right and wrong reasons. But I understand. I also understand the importance of a title. It’s the cast of the net that brings in the catch.

    I liked this post. I’ll retweet it. Another homerun, Jack. Also it reflects closely on my next blog post and pod cast. I finished that yesterday. I’ll post it on Monday.

    And that real or imagined synchronicity makes me wonder. Makes me wonder how intertwined our fates and destiny may be – especially in the Anubis tribe. The resemblance of our challenges, aspirations, and hopes are downright freaky at times- if I say so myself.

  11. bdorman264 July 31, 2011 at 3:42 am

    “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I was not familiar with this quote, but this is pretty much my philosophy; new day, new beginnings.

    I somewhat jokingly say I’m livin’ the dream, but I really think I am. These are exciting times to me and I’m enjoying the journey. Might be somewhat naive, but if I don’t know any better I would rather be simple than complex.

    You better get back to Griddy’s; Nancy putting some serious pressure on…………..just sayin’………

  12. weforgotyounot July 31, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Love that Emerson quote. Maybe I’ll put it on the fridge? Is that really a Batman quote? HAHA! Good stuff. Thanks, Betsy

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