I came across the cool meme posted above (by the inspiring Kelly Exeter) which says, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life. It’s about what you inspire others to do.”
This resonates for me as so true. I think about all the women (and men) that I have known, about all their gifts and the challenges they have shared with me, and I know that when I think of them I don’t so much think about their outward success — the promotions, awards, and achievements — as much as I think about some amazing thing they said, a perfect moment we shared, and a smile when it was most needed.
Of course I delight in my friend’s outward successes. I’m thrilled for them when they reach a specific goal they’ve set out to achieve. But it’s the striving for the goal alone, which is itself so inspiring, that is the steady on-going “success” I see in them.
INSPIRATION: 1. an animating action or influence
Inspiration is something I feel we can all give, all the time. It really is just an attitude of uplifting others. And it doesn’t have to be forced or put on.
By striving to do our best, to be our best, we naturally adopt a cheerful disposition that has the potential to pay-it-forward, even when we’re not intentionally “trying” to be a do-gooder for the world and for those around us.
All the time I find myself awed, inspired and uplifted by some anecdote a friend shares, even when that story is about a struggle or challenge. When they are earnestly aiming to be clear and open, and to continue on in spite of obstacles or set backs, I’m naturally inspired to face my own challenges — career, raising my (now adult) son, developing my radio show, nurturing my relationships, keeping myself physically and spiritually nourished and grounded — with more will and hope and faith and frankly, joy.
I’m not trying to put the Pollyanna face on things. I’ve seen enough personal struggles and experiences, enough losses and changes, that I get it that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. But by and large I do see and sense the blessings of a world of people who, more often than not, are really seeking to be the best they can. And in that observation alone I come away seeing my friends, family and even my little old self as a success.
The gift economy
More and more I see the social dynamic as the opportunity to give and receive the gifts of each other — in some ways just by moving with (rather than against) the energy of this fabulous, wacky, deep, vexing, joyful, challenging, energizing, enlightening process called life.
If it’s a gift, I’m opening it. And I’m giving it away, too.
–Jennifer Till, Real Life with Jennifer Till