Success

Thank you to all of you that responded to last week’s question. I marveled at the myriad of responses and the fact that ALL were right. I, of course, did my own thinking on what success means… and I was struck by the memory of my 3rd book (Is Today the Day?) written over 10 years ago about Stage IV Cancer and the preparation for death. Part of the work in writing this book was my interviewing many terminally ill folks and I got to hear them tell me their parting thoughts.

All the responses they gave me about their lives were moving and deeply insightful. Yet there were two responses that EVERYONE shared, make or female, young or old, across race and ethnicity. One was they ALL wished they had spent more time with their families or loved ones. I was not particularly surprised by that.

But the second one was that they ALL wished they had taken more chances/risks even if they had failed. One man talked about an opportunity he had to work on the west coast and he turned it down because all his friends were on the east coast where he was born and raised. Another spoke of not trying out for the varsity team… even if he had not been chosen.  Very few of the folks actually talked about success or referenced any major accomplishment… which I was surprised by. Success, at the end of these folks’ journey, was simply not having regrets.

Thanks to yourdon for the image.
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2 responses to “Success

  1. I am very critical of myself at times for losing focus on the work I love to do. Your article caused me to reflect that my distractions are loving, personal involvements with my family, friends and associates. When I am alert to them, I stop what I’m doing because they are the most important person in my life at that moment. I want to be responsive to them. I want to be with them at that moment. Your thoughts about your book remind me how fortunate I am that they are a part of my life. Thanks for the reminder and the opportunity to reflect on how lucky I am.
    Risks not taken rank up their with dreams and opportunities not pursued or abandoned due to lack of faith or persistence. As the song goes, ‘Regrets I’ve had a few.’ What seems impossible now is a personal nightmare when we find out someone else just did it! Thank you for that reinforcement to how I can continue to make a better life for myself.
    Finally, when I risk my time for someone else and they ‘light up’ are happier because of our brief time together or what ever the outcome, I begin to realize it was worth the risk of my time because I don’t want to be sorry I missed a fulfilling moment in our relationship.
    Thanks Izzy,
    Joe

  2. Pingback: regret. nothing. – top summer activities in vancouver | Summer Activities New Ideas

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