It is easy to get discouraged when you hit snags in your achieving your dreams. Right now, I am working at many things and these so many things are not my dream career. It is hard to budget time towards really developing my identity as a professional photographer. That is what I want to be. I recently got a new laptop (it is pretty swanky if I do say so). I have yet to transfer data from my old hard drive so it will still be a bit longer before I can blog new photographic material. But let me stop and think. How do I define true success as I live my life?
Success is actually not dependent on what you own, what you may have at your finger tips. Success is your vision, your passion, and your ability to make the world a bit better. It is your ability to know love and to share love. I have the potential to be a successful photographer without or without fancy equipment. As long as an image of mine can benefit someone, whether it was taken with my phone or my trusty old film slr, I have succeeded. Do I really need my expensive Canon EOS 5D Mark II? No, probably not. It can make certain things easier, but it is just one type of tool out of many options.
Last year, when I was working in Costa Rica, a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson was made known to me. I think it really does explain true success. Ultimately, the success we should measure for ourselves is not the new car you drive or the number of clients you may book. No, success is how much we love our neighbor, success is the smiles you share with friends, success is achieved when good is done – whether or not that good fits our society’s idea of success. Here is the quote for you to think on this week as we celebrate Christmas:
“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 breathe easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
I think another quote that can be included in this line of thought, measuring success by the good we do in our everyday lives, is by Mother Teresa.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Take a moment to think on these two quotes. Are you enduring? Are you appreciating? Are you seeking others? Are you a blessing to this world?
And on that note, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas! May you know true success in the new year! In light of tragic events in our nation and abroad, I hope you can find opportunities to do small things with great love. They make all the difference in the world. As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”