virgin islands scene

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke


The MONTHLY Motivator - May 2007

What really matters

It is easy to get caught up in the distractions of day-to-day life, and to get caught up in the world’s glitzy, glamorous definition of success and achievement. But what really matters, what will create lasting success and fulfillment for you, is to follow the definition of success that is written in your heart.

Do you know what that is? On some level, you do. You see evidence of it in the times you’ve felt the most joyful and alive, in the people you care about, in the things you think about in your quietest and most contemplative moments. You feel it at times of great triumph and also at times of great sadness. At other times, though, it can be easy to forget about what matters most.

All too often, what matters most to you can get buried under the sense of urgency brought on by the fast moving world around you. We live in dynamic, fascinating times to be sure. The world is a captivating place, filled with an endless train of distractions, thrills, fears and frustrations. But the world around you, as compelling as it may be, is merely the place where you find yourself living at the moment. You are connected to it in many ways, but it is not all you are. It affects you, and yet it does not define you. You are much more. You have a deep, driving purpose that transcends all the superficial commotion around you. You have your own special substance to add to life, and it will not be fulfilled by blindly following someone else’s idea of what it means to be successful.

Have you ever thought that perhaps your assumptions could be holding you back? A widely held assumption is that bigger, faster, more expensive, more exclusive, more exciting is better. So you give up your precious, irreplaceable time in pursuit of a bigger house, a faster car, more exciting pastimes, and such. But the need for more and bigger things and thrills can never be satisfied, because no matter what you achieve, you’ll always need to pursue something even bigger and faster and more exciting.

Maybe the assumption itself is wrong. Maybe you don’t need the bigger, faster, more exciting things in order to find fulfillment. Perhaps there is a more direct and sensible way, but it’s difficult to see because you’re so focused on the assumption that bigger is better.

Ask yourself why. Why will more money enrich your life? Why will all the trappings of worldly success bring you fulfillment? What is it that you truly seek? What is at the heart of your desires? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that?

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--Ralph Marston

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