Recently, I learned that two of my friends secured jobs as a CEO and COO of two major companies. While I was extremely happy for them, I did some reflection on my life. I began to question my own success. Was it enough? Did I maximize my potential? I don’t know. When I was younger, I based success on tangible things. Simply put, success, to me, was something that I could touch. It was easily measured by the things that I was able to acquire in my life. The problem with my perception of success was that the more things I acquired, the worse I felt. Nothing, and I mean nothing, that I ever purchased made me feel successful. You see, as a child, while I had all that I needed, the lack of the most of the things that I wanted skewed my perception of success. As I have grown more mature and wiser, I now understand that success is a state of mind, not a state of being. As we approach this holiday season, I am keenly aware that there are some people who are going to spend more than they have in order to upload photographs to social media for all the world to see. To me, that is not success. To be surrounded by people who love you through the highs, lows, and in between(s) of your life is the true definition of success. What good is a luxury sedan if you’re consistently riding alone? What good is a house that’s far too big for one person if there’s only one person in it? What good is a king size bed with temporary and false glimpses of love and passion? I have said it before, and I will say it again; never love anything that is incapable of loving you back. With that being said, I am an agent of change. I have done my best to help others see past their perceived limits as I have tried to push past my own. I have given my last, and I have done my best to forgive myself for the wrongs that I have done. While I am still trying to figure this thing out called life, I am also trying to reconfigure my definition of success. Based on my aforementioned statement, I guess that I am relatively successful. Recently, I also learned that a friend of mine has fallen in love. As she described her experiences and emotions, I felt a sense of pride that far supersedes any position or monetary gains. To me, she perfectly described the reason that I believe that we were all born; to find love, experience love, and give it all away. Sometimes, we try to drink from the cup of love far past it’s expiration date. Now, you have to understand that love pours from a river and not a cup. In comparison to a river, a cup is not only small, it is also quite shallow. If you find that you are drinking from the cup, seek the river. If you’re fortunate enough to understand that you have access to the river, endure, forgive, listen, seek, and do all that is necessary to ensure that the river continues to flow. It’s not going to always be easy, but I promise you, it’s going to be worth it. I say all of that to say this; I firmly believe that the presence of love in it’s purest form is the definition of success. If you’re not where you want to be in your career, once you get there, you will quickly understand that you are the same person in a different position. If you don’t have the things that you want, once you get them, you will quickly understand that you are the same person that happens to have different things. Titles and things will never make us successful. However, if you have love, I promise you, everything in your life is going to look, feel, sound, and taste different. As we approach the holiday season, please understand that love is the greatest gift that any living thing can possibly encounter. With love, you are very successful, for there quite a few people who aren’t fortunate enough to truly experience it. Please don’t let meager funds impede your joy. In the words of one of my childhood heroes John Lennon, “love is all you need.” Be well this holiday season. Until next time. Patrick
As always, this week, please do something to help someone else other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. Once you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love.