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What is a successful life?

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

I read the following during my morning meditation the other day: “…Your work can be called a ‘success’ only when in some way it serves your fellow man.”

Another reading that day was from Jesus: “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me.”

My wife and I just attended a funeral of one of her cousins who died rather suddenly from pneumonia. Jim worked for 30 years at the downtown Hilton Hotel. We never realized before exactly what his job was until we met the two employees who came to Kitchener for the service.

One of the gentlemen was the head of security at the hotel, and the other was an executive manager. They told us how Jim worked in the executive suites as an attendant. They mentioned how Jim always did his job with a smile and was so well loved at the hotel by both employees and customers. We were told that if it were not for COVID-19, they could have filled two buses with folks wanting to pay their respects. To my way of thinking Jim lived a very successful life serving his fellow man. Though he did not make the big bucks, he seemed to bring a smile to everyone he dealt with, including all his family members.

When I go to meet my maker I hope to have had some of these suggested components of successful living that I found online:

– Love. Love deeply. Love fully. Don’t ever let fear prevent you from experiencing the greatest feeling in this life. Love your family, love your friends, love your partners, love children, love strangers, and love yourself.

– Regard every one of your fellow human beings as equals, regardless of race, culture, socioeconomic class, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

– Never take yourself so seriously that you’ve forgotten how to laugh or be silly. Never get too old to see the world through the eyes of a child with wonder and awe.

– Know when to close your mouth and listen. Everybody has something to share.

– Remember that if you have health, shelter, clean water and food you are luckier than most. Keep your perspective.

– Always strive for personal growth, but accept your smaller imperfections and love yourself regardless. If you demand perfection, you will only be exhausted.

– Understand that life is precious and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Continuously remind yourself who and what you’re grateful for, and show your appreciation often.

– Recognize that there is pain and suffering in this world beyond your comprehension. Still choose to see the good in life.

– Be generous with your soul. Be compassionate and empathetic towards your fellow human beings. Give. Don’t expect anything in return for your generosity as the satisfaction you will feel for helping a fellow human being is reward enough.

– Overcome toxic habits and say goodbye to toxic and negative people. You only get one shot at this life so why let anything hold you back?

Finally, some advice on being successful:

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

“Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do.” – Anonymous.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa.

I’m at bdfox@rogers.com trying to inspire.

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