How Do You Measure Success?

Quality of life, in America today, is often measured by the amount of money you make. Success is defined by the kind of car you drive. By the neighborhood you live in. By the toys you own. After all, he who dies with the most toys wins. True or false?

courage

Life was difficult before remote controls and automatic door locks. Skiing was so boring before the new shape skis hit the market. Fishing without a carbon-fiber rod was next to impossible. And the best part of life today is that big-screen plasma HDTV, the one with the universal remote that controls everything. It’s the best escape devised yet from an otherwise dull evening.

In contrast, the people of the remote Himalayan country of Bhutan were recently rated as having the poorest quality of life of all but one other country in the world — after all, their average annual per capita income is only $500. Ironically, however, when you visit the country, there are no beggars, only beautiful, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests, and clean air. The crime rate is extremely low, no one is in a hurry, and there is a strong sense of community. You might almost think that instead of depending on their belongings to entertain them, they’ve learned to enhance their lives by building relationships with each other.

Be careful to avoid the trap of, “the more you buy, the more you need”. Because oftentimes then the more we think we need, the more unhappy we are with what we have. So this year, before buying those new golf clubs, stop and think. Will that $1,000 bring you more happiness through a bag of irons, compared to a few days off with your family, or as a donation to an organization, or a person who is trying to make a difference. It’s your choice. It’s how you measure it.

So this week count your blessings instead of your possessions. Spend more time with those you love, instead of spending more money on things you lack.

— Denis Waitley

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