Sometimes, I feel like telling my young son, success isn’t measured by how far one has gotten. So, don’t ever feel rushed. His pre-school teacher, the late Detty, always used to call out to them as they leave the room, “ang nagmamadali, nagkakamali.” (those who rush, make mistakes)
For truly, when one measures their being successful by how far they have reached or gone, that is a prime source of our disappointments. Just as the Desiderata had implied, one thing is certain in this world; there will always be someone who will have gone farther than you and is better than you. Get out of that perceived race with others that’s eating at you inside your head and just breathe… you are your own best enemy. So find your groove.
Going back to measuring success, if one tweaks a little and adds a bit more to ‘how far you’ve gotten’ and attached it with ‘from where you started’, then that might just do the trick. It would now read: success is measured by how far you have gotten from where you started. After all, we have to realize there are no false starts in real life as they do in sports, especially track and swim meets. From where one starts or re-starts is what matters the most. A famous tennis player had a tattoo in his forearm which read: fall back seven, rise up eight.
Another thing to note is that, if one looked around, this is not how other people define and measure what success is. Tangible, something to hold, my Eco teacher once told us. The stoic philosopher Epictetus, when once asked who is a rich man, was credited to have said, “he who is content”. So, never mind the grass being always greener on the neighbor’s side of the fence. For all we know, as Erma Bombeck had said, that’s true especially when it’s near the septic tank.
Thinking back, it always makes me smile whenever I recall another meme from long ago… when someone tries to talk you out of your dreams, just tell them bees do not waste their time explaining to flies why honey is better sh_t. But setting aside the topic of number two, another quote (and a favorite) comes from Henry David Thoreau. He writes, ‘If a man does not keep in step with his companions, it is maybe because he hears a different drummer. Let him listen to the music he hears, no matter how distant or far away.’
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