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.