I believe that success is learning who you are and who you aren’t. More narrowly, success is learning what you were born to do and doing it. For some people, this involves education. For others, it involves making money. For still others, being with people is what it’s all about. But callings come in all different shapes and sizes; music, plants, teaching, healing, loving, traveling, cooking, the list goes on and on… In our society, the big three indulgences are power, money and sensation. Lots of people pursue those thinking they are worth having for themselves. But, of course, they’re not. They may come with a calling (for Obama, for Steve Jobs, for Hannah Teter), but they are not worth a damn on their own.
If we are really lucky, success includes love, companionship, parenthood and community too. For some people, one of these might be a calling. For others, this trip around doesn’t include some or all of them. Most of us have access to all of them. It’s usually a question of what we make important and whether can we open our hearts and our lives to love. One of the odd things about our society is that being fulfilled frequently comes second, in discussions and in life, to things that won’t mean a thing in our moment of passing.