Over the last couple of weeks I came across the same poem three times, so I felt that is probably a good sign to share it further. There have been several versions over the years, and they are usually attributed to Bessie Anderson Stanley (1879-1952) or Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). It goes like this:
"He achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy,
a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
or failed to express it;
Who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction."
The following version was published by Albert Edward Wiggam in 1951, who quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882):
"What is 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 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 even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded."
And here are my questions to you:
- when you read those lines how successful are you?
- where are the gaps?
- how would you define success?
- do you dare writing your own definition? in a poem?
- please share it with your beloved ones; with your business partners