Reflection of the day:
- He has 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 never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
- Who has left the world better than he found it,
- Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
- 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.
“Success” was written in 1904, by Elisabeth-Anne “Bessie” Anderson Stanley (1879-1952) for a contest held in Brown Book Magazine. Stanley won the competition, which was to answer the question “What is success?” in 100 words or less. It is often incorrectly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Louis Stevenson.
If a person (let’s say a man) has expectations of excellence in life, and applies himself to the required work, there is naturally an outcome of success. Given time, he cannot help but positively affect his own life, the people in his environment, and every area he applies himself.
Consider two men, one with a mindset of excellence, one without. Give them identical jobs working side by side. Make all factors equal: each receive fair employee treatment and opportunities; both have good health, aptitude, ample financial resources, family and community support. Then sit back and watch the two employees over time. Observe the man of excellence’s attitude and diligent work ethic. Inspect the quality of work of the man with lesser standards and listen as he defends it. How will the men’s lives differ over time?
The man who habitually aspires to excellence is the one whose future points to success. He can go no other direction. Never mind the times of frustration and apparent failures—barring conditions beyond his control, he will achieve over time; he continually invests and applies himself to succeed. He expects his relationships, career, obligations—all areas of his life—to be of high quality. His actions reflect his thoughts, and success naturally follows.