Success and GivingAuthor Catherine Pulsifer
What is success? Many people have tried to define this word. The dictionary defines it as: "a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity." But I question is that it? And then there is the definition of giving. One definition is, "freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to." How do the two of them go together, especially when you consider that giving contains the word "free." In this thought I will attempt to connect success and giving together.
The meaning of success to some people is money, being financially wealthy. And to others it means a position, being the boss or the one who is in control. Yet success to others can also mean power. We all have different thoughts on what constitutes a successful person. And, at different times in our lives you may find that success will have a different meaning. When you are young success looks totally different to when you are middle age. And then in our senior years, when we have life experiences behind us, the meaning of success changes again.
Whatever your definition of success is there is one thing we all have in common - we all have had someone help us get to where we feel we have been successful. That person who helped you could have been your parents, or a teacher, or a co-worker, or a friend. It is the person who gave us words of encouragement, the person who gave us that support, the person who believed in us, the person who saw our potential before we did.
In developing your own definition of success, consider and think about others and how you can help them. If success means money to you, then donate money to a worthwhile charity. In life we all face challenges and there are times when times are tough. By supporting charities that help people we are also helping others during challenging times.
If success means a position of status, then share your knowledge with others. Help others advance by being an example, by encouraging and teaching.
If success means power to you, then use that to advance worthwhile causes. When you have power you can move mountains! Use that power to do good.
If success means happiness to you, then work at a job you love. Encourage others to pursue a career that they enjoy. Young people especially, feel that making tons of money is success, but we all know that money will never buy happiness. If you spend you working life doing what you hate, working for the money alone, you will end up having a miserable life!
Changing Our Practices
All to often, we get caught up in all the things we want, and forget to give back to the world. Our society seems to place more value on how much we have rather than how much we give.
What a different world it would be if society placed more value on how much we gave! If success was defined as helping others our world would be a changed world. While it may seem a bit morbid to talk about death in an article about success and giving - one thought I would like you to think about is the fact that you came into the world with nothing and when you die you take nothing with you. So why not use what your success has given you to help other people accomplish a successful life. You have more influence than you realize and you can use your influence and knowledge to help others. I firmly believe that what we give does in fact come back to us in many different ways.
Living a successful life means helping others in many different ways. You in fact are making the world a better place. And at the end of the day, isn't that the way it is suppose to be? Isn't that how you found success, by someone seeing the potential in you.
The words of wisdom said by Martin Luther King, Jr., sums up our thought:
"We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity."
The wisdom of Mr. King's words are ones that we all need to remember as we climb the ladder of success. Be generous, we all have something we can share to help others.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"I know what a lot of people think politicians, CEO's and every other successful person has gained their position through money. However, wealth doesn't guarantee success." Keith Boyer; Matt Riley
"Too many times I hear of people struggling to climb the ladder of success, only to get to the top and find out that they’re on the wrong wall! Don't let that be you. Don't try to drive your passion, let your passion drive you." Tim David
"Simply give others a bit of yourself; a thoughtful act, a helpful idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense of understanding, a timely suggestion. You take something out of your mind, garnished in kindness out of your heart, and put it into the other person's mind and heart." Charles H. Burr
"Maybe life is supposed to be like that - a little giving that means a lot to others. I have never forgotten this unusual event, and, to this day, I believe that giving of one's humanity is better than the mere observation of life." Byron Pulsifer
"I've discovered a beautiful paradox: giving others what you yourself need can be potent medicine for your own life." Stephen Post, Jill Neimark
"We want to add beliefs that build us up, encourage us and support us. We want beliefs that are 'the wind beneath our wings', causing us to soar and to be all we can be." Barbara Lucas
"The real point is that we all need help somewhere along life's path whether we think we will or not. And, if you are the one giving and helping, just remember this: no matter what happens later, you will always be secure in the fact knowing that you have remained strong and true to assist those that need your help." Catherine Pulsifer
"One kernel is felt in a hogshead; one drop of water helps to swell the ocean; a spark of fire helps to give light to the world. None are too small, too feeble, too poor to be of service. Think of this and act." Hannah More
"The race of humankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow humans; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt." Sir Walter Scott
"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody." Chinese Proverb
"We are all on the same island working towards different goals. When we take a moment to acknowledge another person and give just a little of ourselves to another then we set forth amazing things." Scott Wyatt
"Help your old neighbor, give your seat in the subway to someone who needs it, buy a coffee for a homeless man that you see, bring flowers for your colleagues without a reason. Make someone smile, even for a brief second, and you will see how your day will change instantly for the best." Lucas Bailly
"Give to those who need you. Share with those who need you. Give and share with what you have and God will bless you." M. Lawrence
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