What makes a successful life has more to do with what you can’t see

It’s been three weeks since my wife and I permanently moved from New Jersey to Colorado. Man time goes fast!

While the transition has been difficult and searching for new employment has been challenging, I’m starting to realize that I’ve been afforded a rather rare gift in life – the gift of time. Time to share ordinary, everyday moments with my beautiful wife and time to refocus my priorities for the next chapter in my life.

Something I’ve been thinking a great deal about lately has been the word success.

Webster defines success as “The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame; the correct or desired result of an attempt.”

So many of us, myself included, spend so much of our time misguided by the word “success” and the somewhat skewed definition created by society. It seems to me that today we measure success more by what we possess in life than any other characteristic.

With all that extra time on my hands, I’ve been asking myself the following questions:

1. Will I feel like I’ve made it if I’m able to park a luxury car in my driveway?
2. While money is important, will a high-paying salary provide me with fulfillment?
3. What does it really mean and how do we measure a successful life?

I turn to Bessie Stanley for the answer:

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

I realize not everyone finds themselves in my current circumstance – with nothing but time on their hands. But everyone can find a quiet moment during the day – even if it’s just twenty minutes – to really ask yourself what the definition of a successful life means to you. If the only thing you can come up with is money, power and possessions, then I’m sorry to say your life is missing a little something called humanity and humility.

Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Words to live by.