Monday, March 14, 2011

Success and Happiness

I've been thinking lately about success and happiness, and about some unhappiness, anger, and frustration that lingers in my life.

I think, for now, that I've got it figured out. (Spread the word, eh!)

It's about looking forward. A lot of inspirational quotes about success are about focusing on the future. For example:

"The successful always has a number of projects planned, to which he looks forward. Any one of them could change the course of his life overnight." ~ Mark Caine

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you will find success." ~ Thomas J. Watson

And everyone's favourite:
"Success is a journey, not a destination." ~ Ben Sweetland

I am just lately realizing that thinking about the past makes me unhappy. I think about how people should have behaved differently, how I could have done or said something to change what happened, how disappointed I was in others. And I relive those feelings of frustration, anger or hurt.

But to achieve anything, I have to move forward. And I can't move forward while looking backwards. So I have to focus on what I want and move in that direction. This is a challenge for me, because I want some things in my past to just be different. So no wonder I've been focusing on what happened before, because my attention and energy was directed at trying to change the past (as fruitless as that is).

So now with my new focus on giving myself a good foundation for my future, it makes sense that I would start to notice that a lot of energy was misdirected, and interfered with my life and thus my future. It is too bad that some people I used to know behaved in ways I find ... wrongful. But it is their bad. I have strong values and a strong character, and I am learning that lots of people don't have either. I can't fix their lack of values or lack of character, and wishing things were different doesn't change anything. I am not responsible for their conduct, only they are. As I am responsible for mine.

And starting now, I resolve to do myself the honour of freeing myself from the chains of the past and focusing on what matters - the bright future lying in wait for me.

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