Success

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Success

  1. 1. Success What is Success?The definition of success varies with each person asked. For some it is money, forothers fame, for still others, success is a matter of family strength and stability. Theunderlying element in all definitions, though, includes the ability to reach set goals,accumulate victories, progress with desired projects, and accomplish desiredresults with excellence.The core of success, then, is rooted in the deep soil of ability and accomplishment,backed by abiding will and determination. No individual can be thought entirelysuccessful whose victories are a matter of luck, chance, charity from others, orcoincidence. As delightful as good luck and fortune can be, they lack the sense ofaccomplishment and security needed for a true feeling of success. Without theunderlying ability to continue generating success, there is an inevitable lack ofconfidence, both in yourself, and demonstrated by those around you.Success involves the ability to set goals, develop skills, and maintain a course inthe face of opposition and obstacles. Success involves the ability to alter yourcourse, too, when presented with new information and new opportunities. Thesuccessful man is one who looks to the future and sees possibilities to be pursued.He accepts setbacks as nothing more than challenges to overcome.Successful people focus on excellence: For a successful person, the old saying,“Any job worth doing is worth doing well,” is a watchword. Where many peopledraw the line at “good enough,” the successful person will ask himself whether hiswork couldn’t be just a bit better. A successful tailor will take just a bit more timeon the fitting; a successful cook will ask himself whether there’s not some oldfavorite dish seldom offered outside a mother’s kitchen that might become a newstar on his menu. The successful student will put in the extra hours of study, andwill pay the necessary money to ensure his carefully written papers are properlyedited.Yet this pursuit of excellence is restrained by caution and good sense. Thesuccessful person will choose to pursue excellence while always judging whatmethods of that pursuit are too costly in time, or too far from the primary line ofeffort to be worth consideration. The father, raising children, will choose a goodschool for them, but not always the costliest or the best known, aiming for superbeducation and admirable social ties, but not always for the greatest prestige. He
  2. 2. will do this in the knowledge that prestige is seldom worth knowledge and goodassociates, in the long run, especially if, instead of prestige, a father can then offera small fund of saved money to give a young man or woman a good start in life. Afather so wise is a success as a father, and works to ensure that his children, too,will be successful.Success, however, isn’t just something one reaches. Success is also the road onewalks to attain a successful outcome. Indeed, in the long run the greatest success isthe success of constant effort, and unending goals. A person with one more goalthan they can achieve in their given lifetime has just enough goals for the perfectlife.How can this be so? What is the value of a life of striving, with no end in sight butthe grave? Imagine the other option – to have too few goals. All of us have seenthe truest failures: The shambling men and bitter women who ran out of hopes andplans before they ran out of life. No wealth, no fame, no victory is sufficient toovercome the despair of a life which has lost its challenge, and which offers nomore goals.This, of course, means that success is based on no single goal, or any particularvictory; success is a life-skill, not a single skill aimed at one primary challenge.He who would succeed must first learn to live, and live a life that is grand in itsscope and majesty. That need not mean that your life must be lived on a largescale, but it does demand that it be lived on a deep and profound scale. Thesuccessful man is like an ancient king or sage; many such men never travelledmore than a few miles from the places of their birth. The ancient wealth andwisdom available to them would look like poverty and ignorance to those of usliving in the modern world.Yet these great ones accomplished successes we still read of, and offered wisdomwe still turn to. Their joys and contentment speak to us across the ages, remindingus that we, too, can learn success at the feet of great and wise leaders.The man who would be a success must, at some point, accept this call to a deepand complexly fulfilling life. Smart people can see what “success” without rootscan bring. The modern papers show us daily the results of shallow successaccomplished by small-souled people who were unprepared for life’s challenges.The rock star who dies young, poisoned by his own dissolute habits; the politicianwho falls as a result of his own arrogance and vanity; the holy man whose holinessis shown to be merely advertising hiding a life of petty hedonism and spite. All are
  3. 3. proofs offered daily that “success” isn’t a matter of brief fame or fortune, but amatter of lasting integrity and preparation.To achieve success, a man must learn to live success. He must rise successful,greet his good wife successfully, and embrace his children successfully. He mustplan his day’s work with his soul centered in the heart of successful living. Breaking Down the StagesThe first stage in accomplishing success is, perhaps, the sweetest for many people,for the first stage of success is to imagine and to dream. The first step in success isto develop dreams, goals, and objectives. They may be simple, or complex, short-term or long-term, but the goals must exist. Even those who choose to livemeditative, silent lives have chosen a challenging goal – for humans, the silent,meditative life is, perhaps, the most challenging form of success to pursue.The first thing you need to do is reserve some time and space to pursue the idea ofyour goals and desires. Find a place you can relax – in your room, in a park, at anearby library. Find someplace you will feel safe and comfortable letting yourmind roam. Bring a pad of paper and a pencil, because you’ll be taking lots ofnotes. Get to your safe place, settle down, and let yourself relax for a few minutes.Then just ask yourself what things you really want that would define a “successfullife” for you.Next, you will imagine what you wish for in your life. Do you want wealth?Write it down on your piece of paper. “I want wealth.” What about a family? “Iwant to have a family, with strong and beautiful sons and daughters.” Do you wantthe respect of your community? Put that down on your piece of paper, also. Addthings you know you want to do your whole life: “I want to play football with thelocal team for all my life, no matter what else I do.” “I want to entertain often, andto be known as a generous and joyful host.” “I want a happy marriage with apartner I can honor and who will honor me.”Whatever you’ve put down should be the things you want the most ... the verymost. It’s easy to come up with a random list of things we like, but right now youwant to list the things that matter enough to live for, and die for. The list youdevelop should focus on things you are willing to work for, change your habits for,and put years into developing; only things that are worth that much to you will evergive you the true feeling of success; unless, in rare cases, they come to mean that
  4. 4. much to you over a lifetime. Don’t ignore that – some things you never dreamedof can become your most cherished successes. Leave some wiggle room in yourmind and heart for the unexpected sources of success.In the meantime, though, start planning your life around the things you know youwant, and want deeply. Make your list. Think about it. Ask yourself what parts ofthe list fit together well, and what parts don’t seem to fit. Ask whether you candesign a life that includes all the parts – how would it work? What would youhave to do to keep all the parts you care about? What would you have to do tomake room for the unexpected, the uncontrollable, and the unpredictable?As you ask those questions, you should be beginning to get ideas. Perhaps youwant to be a doctor, with a family, living in the country, and writing books in yourfree time. You can start thinking through all the elements: Having to get a medicaldegree, finding a spouse who is willing to make the sacrifices doctor’s spousessuffer. Finding a home and a community that gives you a practice and still givesyou countryside. Choosing a specialty that might actually give you weekends freefor writing. Each thing you want clarifies the demands you will have to make, andrefines the kind of life you can lead.You’ll find yourself sadly setting some choices aside; they won’t fit the life you’replanning. Don’t give them up, though. Make a category of “things for someday.”Many people in modern times have more than one career over a lifetime, andchoose more than one kind of life. Leave yourself room for that.Once you’re fairly sure you know what your central choices are, though, it’s timefor another list. You now have to work out the steps it will take to accomplishthose goals. To go to medical school you’ll have to get good grades in high schooland college. If you’ve already failed to do that, you’ll have to find a way to doremedial work, and bring your academics up to an acceptable level. You have tofind ways to raise money for your education, and work to support you while youstudy. Each step is there, waiting to be approached. Line them up in order and listfor yourself how long they might take. Be pessimistic: Assume they may take youlonger than you hoped. A medical degree might take you decades to earn. Beginto prepare yourself for a long process. If that sounds intimidating, remember,you’re not just preparing for one success, you’re preparing for a successful life.Examine yourself, too. What do you have to change in yourself to accomplish yourgoals? Are you, like many of us, inclined to procrastinate? Are you willing to quitwhen things are “good enough,” and not bother with the fine details that are the
  5. 5. hallmarks of excellence? Do you cut corners? Try to take short cuts? Are youangry at being expected to work harder, or inclined to whine?The effort to change these things will become part of your daily discipline. Makeno mistake: Success demands discipline. There’s a reason to choose goals youlove, if you possibly can. The joy and pride you will gain in excelling in somethingyou love, and the comfort and delight of working daily at something you careabout can provide a great deal of reward to make up for the cost of self-discipline,exacting standards, and hard work. Moving ForwardOnce you’ve chosen goals and made plans, the hard part starts: Living the life.Success is never a gift given, or even a reward earned. Instead, success is a roadyou’ve walked to a destination you’ve dreamed of. The destination is only afraction of success itself, though.Think about that metaphor. A long road walked, one step at a time, each steptaking seconds, the seconds adding up to minutes, minutes slowly accumulatinginto days, weeks, months, and years. Each day more steps. At last you reach thedestination – and the trip is done. Once there, you’ll have to choose newdestinations, and walk new roads. The victory lasted a brief second. The trip lasteda small eternity.True success isn’t found in the destination; it’s found in the trip. That’s true inmany, many different ways. The first we’ve already discussed – you must value thedestination enough, to make the trip worthwhile. But there are more ways toconsider.Look at the plans you’ve made to reach your goals. You’ve already realized thatmost of your biggest goals demand that you progress in stages, learn skills, andaccomplish certain secondary goals on the route. You’ve realized the willpower,dedication and commitment the process will demand from you.Have you planned for the joy it should also bring?Think about what was said previously. The road to success lasts far longer than themoment of victory. If you will spend years of your life reaching your goals, youmust find a way to make the years themselves worth living; otherwise your finalvictory can never compensate for the years of misery along the way. Have you
  6. 6. planned a route in such a way that there will be pleasures, pride, andaccomplishment along the way? Will you have time for friends, family, and foryour community? Will you retain the energy and resources to contribute to theworld as you move along?A life empty of these things may end in victories, but it will never be considered atrue success. There have been many driven men and women throughout history.Some have accomplished incredible things. Some are even called successful. Yet,when you read the biography of a man or woman who gave up a full, rich life towin a brief victory, it can be hard to understand why they’re seen as successful.Only if they loved the route to their victories as much as they loved the outcomecan they truly be held successful in life.There are, of course, special cases. In all traditions, religious and philosophical,there are men and women who have made amazing and inspiring sacrifices toaccomplish great feats. There is no culture without a narrative of a man who gavehis entire life to some great deed, or a woman who sacrificed everything – youth,love, wealth, health, and happiness – to give some great gift to the future. There arepeople we consider “successful” in these senses whose success is impossible tofathom in terms of joy or delight in the path taken. And yet...It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s Jesus of Nazareth, giving up the life of a solidcraftsman or scholar to become a preacher, and ultimately to die, or a medic dyingto drag the wounded from the field, or a fireman who dies saving lives. Each ofthese “successes” lived a life that showed great joy and passion, even in themoment of loss and hardship. Each was rewarded by the very path they took toaccomplish their goals.Your life must reward you, and it must reward you with more than just the ultimateaccomplishment. Look at your plans, and decide if you can endure them, andultimately find delight in them. If not, revise your plans.Then, begin the process. This is harder than it sounds.It’s a proverbial truth that most small businesses fail in their first year. Similarly,child mortality rates indicate that the most dangerous time in a child’s life is thefirst year.The most dangerous time in the road to success is the beginning. Your path tosuccess is a form of resolution to yourself – and, like the millions of New Year’s
  7. 7. resolutions made, started, and dropped every year; most people fail to pursue theirpath to success more than a short way. If you’ve chosen a path with regularrewards and pleasures, your odds are higher – but the most vital element in thesefirst days is to greet each new day you continue on the path as a success in its ownright. Each time you fulfill an obligation, carry through on a commitment, put inthat extra effort to accomplish excellence, you need to congratulate yourself, andpermit yourself a moment of pride, for each time you do this you have succeeded.Most people know the story of the Little Red Hen. She decides she wants bread. Soshe sets out to accomplish that. There is a field to plough, grain to sow, weeds topull, wheat to harvest, threshing to be done. The grain must be ground, the flourmust be made into dough, and at last the bread must be made. Each step of theway, the hen asks her friends for help – and, yet, oddly, no friend is willing to helpuntil it’s time to eat the bread.The hen had to do the entire process alone, without help, without praise, withoutsupport. If she were like most people, she would have spent the first round or sogetting angrier and angrier, concentrating on the failure of being unable to gethelpers, the difficulty of the job, and the fact that step after step in her progress, shestill had no bread.Most of us allow things like this to stop us in our trip to success. We becomefrustrated; we forget that the process has to play out. We get angry that we don’treceive more help – or more recognition. We give up early, because rewards are soslow coming in. Most of all we fail to pace ourselves, and we fail to rewardourselves for each step completed.I believe that the Little Red Hen succeeded, because as angry as she may havebeen when no one would help, and as tired as she may have been, she was a wiseold hen. I think she knew it was a long way from an unploughed field to a bakedloaf of bread. I think she knew that help is rare – though always worth asking for.I think that, after a hard day walking behind a plow, she stopped, stretched, andsaid to herself, “Henny, old girl, look at that! You got a quarter of the fieldploughed! Not bad for an old chick!” I think she took herself home, read a goodbook, and went to sleep proud that she’d done well for the day, instead of lying inbed fuming that it would be months until she had hot bread.I even think she may have found ways to enjoy the grueling work. Maybe shelooked up into the sky as she ploughed, enjoying the sun and the clouds. Maybe
  8. 8. she sang as she pulled weeds, and listened to her voice rise up in the quiet countryai r.One way or another, she prepared herself for the process of success, and set out insuch a way that she could keep on going. There are so many old sayings that applyto this sort of situation. “Begin as you mean to go on.” “Never put off ‘tilltomorrow the things you can do today.” “Beginning is half done.” When youbegin, begin as though every day was worth new commitment, and every stepworth enjoyment. Congratulate yourself on every victory, even if the only victoryis getting homework completed well, and on time. The People Around YouWhile the Little Red Hen may have had neither help nor hindrance from the peoplearound her, you’re not likely to be so lucky. People around you can help or hinderyour search for success, and will do so in many ways.Many people can serve as agents of interference, often in ways that are quiteinnocent. It is important, for example, to realize as quickly as possible that thoseyou compete with are not your enemies. Indeed, they may prove to be your bestfriends, if you can bring yourself to accept them with joy, respect and humility.None will ever understand your struggle as your competitors do, nor understandthe love you have for your shared calling. You may attract enmity, and you mayfind one or two true hostile rivals, but in many ways you can and should look tothose who travel the same path you do for friendship and close associates.Make those alliances. They will enrich your life, and ultimately they willstrengthen you in your efforts to achieve success. Have the courage and humility toadmire others, recognize their abilities, praise them both publically and privately –not excessively, but when true admiration moves you. It doesn’t matter what areasyou seek to succeed in; in any realm, from the simple and pragmatic skill and craftof many professions to the vague and abstract aspects of spiritual or philosophicalattainment, you will find people around you who excel, and whose performanceoutstrips your own.Even if you wish to work to equal the ability of these others, don’t do so out ofrage or frustration. Take the time to admire them, enjoy their ability, and cherishtheir success. These are your great friends and teachers; to be among them is amark of success in its own right.
  9. 9. Value yourself enough to face others’ abilities without envy. Learn from them,make them your role models, take pleasure in the chance you have been given towatch skill and talent. Whether another man is a better husband and father, a bettercraftsman, a better entrepreneur, his actions and abilities can’t reduce your own.He is no threat to your ability, only to your pride, and while you must take pride inyour competence and achievement, that pride need not be gained by surroundingyourself only with fools and failures – or by destroying serious competitors inenvy. The Challenge of Good Friends and FamilyIt may surprise you to find that your most dangerous associates aren’t your rivals,or your enemies, but your old friends and family. It’s true, though; those who youlove, and who love you in return, are the most likely to sabotage your efforts toachieve success.They won’t sabotage you on purpose. Indeed, they are far more likely to sabotageyou by trying to help, or at least while they think they’re helping. The trouble is,friends and family are complicated people with too much power over you, and toolittle real understanding of what you face in your life. Worse, they are capable ofall the mixed up, muddled, emotionally charged reactions you might originallyhave ascribed to rivals and enemies.Consider this: You have set yourself the goal of being the first in your family toattend college, get a degree, and become a professional in one of the more highlyvalued realms of work. Your mother and father are, of course, thrilled. They wanttheir son (or daughter) to progress and prosper. But their own lives have been filledwith another reality entirely. Your decision will draw you, a step at a time, fromthe paths they know and understand. If you aren’t very careful, you will become astranger to them, and even an envied rival.Imagine your mother and father greeting you at the end of your first day of school.Instead of lingering and talking, or leaving to take part in local pastimes they knowand understand, you must excuse yourself and go study in your room. You mustturn your back on them, and on all they’ve done or experienced, to transformyourself into something new they don’t understand.Your mother will worry you don’t get out enough. Your father will be concerned,for he knows that a man must have the support of his generation’s peers – he
  10. 10. “knows” you have to spend time with the other young men in the neighborhood,living as they do, laughing at their jokes. Both will balance on the fence, wantingto encourage your studies, but unable to stop fretting that the new life you areleading in their own home is alien to all they have known. A man working forsuccess immediately cuts himself off from the world of those who aim for no morethan “fitting in.”Every step of the way, you will find those you love sending you mixed messages –wanting you to excel, but also wanting you to remain “like them.” As you beginactually achieving the success you hunger for, it will actually become worse, foreven friends and family can feel envy, or shame, as they look at their own lives andsuccesses in comparison with yours.It can be hard to deal with the mixed blend of love and resentment, pride andshame, delight and anger that your friends and family can offer as you advance inyour goals. You’re almost certain to face unexpected fights, pressure to stopbehavior that is necessary to achieve your goals, criticism, and most of all, constantaccusations of vanity and conceit. A common cry of the envious is that “you thinkyou’re better than us.”There is little you can do to change this, and it’s almost impossible to avoid beinghurt by it, even if you know it’s inevitable. Here you are, trying to become all theworthwhile things parents, friends, and spouses are supposed to desire you to be,and instead of being thrilled, proud and excited, your friends and family arecriticizing you, trying to take over your life, and rolling around in profound envyand shame.What’s a man to do?Love them anyway, and understand that it’s often not about you – it’s about them.These odd reactions are the responses of people who feel threatened by changes,and shamed by success. At the very least, if you are taking a different course thanyour loved ones have taken, you will be presented with the fear they feel at seeingyou enter into unknown territory. At the worst, if you’ve accidentally set off aserious sense of failure on their part, they may be unable to stop the flood of anger,shame and regret that rises up in response. The father who left school young willsee his son gain a degree – and wonder, bitterly, what he might have been had hehad the chance, or the ability, to remain in school. The mother who chose marriageover a career may feel as though a professional daughter is a reproach to the
  11. 11. choices the mother made. Each is reacting to their own sense of failing, far morethan they’re responding to your success.Love, them, honor them, praise them if you can – and let it go.Equally hard can be the war over bad advice. Your friends and family will offeryou a universe of advice about your field. Unless they share your profession andyour world, there is a very good chance that much of the advice they offer willeither be outrageously obvious – so obvious even outsiders can see it – oroutrageously bad.All this, too, you must let go. The obvious advice you must accept, and actuallyuse just as you would have in any case; and you should thank your advisors, evenif they are not geniuses. A man who gives you a single penny gives you a gift, andit may be the greatest gift he has to offer. Your friends and family may be givingyou the least precious of recommendations, but they have worked hard and thoughtlong to provide you with the gift.You must also be gracious and thankful for bad advice. It is similarly offered ingood faith and with good will, and it is a gift of love. Thank your friends. Thenconsider the advice. Learn from it. A few things that look stupid actually turn outto be very good advice, just unexpected and unusual. The rest you must simplystudy, think about, and let go.It can be very hard dealing with this sort of thing, and it can all come as a suddenand shocking surprise. Success attracts troubles as a lit candle attracts moths:When you shine your light to the world, the world reacts in a million ways, andsome are not what you’d choose. To carry on in the face of envy, confusion, falsefears, bad advice, and more, you must be strong, and you must be generous.Yes, indeed, you must be generous. Remember, these are friends and family whoare being disconcerted, mixed up, and worried by the changes you’ve brought intotheir lives. Your choices are altering their world, whether you wish it to or not.You live with them and among them, you are held dear in their hearts. For all theanger, loss, grief, rage, envy, shame, and even outright stupidity they may show,the driving motive behind it all is love. It will be a struggle, but you must have thecourage and conviction it takes to keep loving them, even as you protect yourself.Admire them for what they are, and hope in time they will learn to understand,love, and admire you for what you are becoming.
  12. 12. Surviving Your Own SuccessPerhaps the biggest mistake people make is failing to plan for their own success, orplanning badly. Again, we can see the results of lack of foresight every time weread a news article or watch a news show. So many achieve success, and so fewmanage to retain it. It takes a level head and good sense to live as a successfulperson.Some of the most obvious victims of their own success can be found in the worldof entertainment. Music, movies and television are businesses with an endlesshunger for the young and talented. These professions take some of the best,brightest, most talented and beautiful young people our many cultures offer, raisethem to success at an early age, often with little training and preparation, andexpose them to all the temptations and tribulations of fame and fortune.Far too many entertainers have relatively little training and grounding, and fewerstill have training in how to cope with success. There are rare cultures that seem toprepare their young talents well: England shows a strong tendency to demand itsyoung performers get superb technical training, while holding up an ideal ofprofessionalism that can provide a secure anchor for newly successful youngsters.English actors as a whole have tended to promote an ideal of performance asnothing more than a job – a job that can and should be done well, with respect andstyle, but not as something magical and glorious that proves the performer isspecial.As a result, the English seem to regularly present the world with modest, capable,level-headed performers who deprive the gossip columns of much of the tattle andmelodrama found in other nations. England prepares its young performers forsuccess by teaching them that success is just another part of the business.Conversely, one can look at other cultures and see the fallout of poorly preparedand grounded “successful” performers who fall to pieces and destroy their ownsuccess. Rather than treating their victories as simply business, one step in alifetime of steps, they believe that their first victory is permanent, exceptional, andthat it proves them to be special ... outside the realities of other, lesser mortals.Soon it becomes clear, though, that without the grounding, the foresight, and themodest attitude, these stars are doomed to fall.Success is a daily thing – something you will work at your whole life. Only whenyou are on your deathbed will you be able to say, calmly, that your life was a
  13. 13. success. Victories achieved along the way should certainly be enjoyed, but neverseen as your ultimate destination – just a pleasant stop along the way. Therefore,plan your life to take success into account, as well as the inevitable failures. Beready for both, and have plans in place to move beyond both.Nonetheless, there comes a time when a man must concede to himself that, nomatter how many goals are not yet achieved, and how many victories are yet to bewon, he is among the victors in the great game of life. If you have planned well,worked hard, persevered, and not been crippled by overwhelming misfortune, therewill come a time when you can examine your life and feel that the successes youhoped for at the beginning of your voyage have come to pass.How a man deals with success is as revealing as how he deals with defeats andsetbacks. A true, great man, a complete success, becomes greater even in victorythan he was when he struggled. Such a man is in the position of the great kings oflegend – able to develop a legacy that can last for centuries, even millennia.Andrew Carnegie, whose life is both praised and reviled, ultimately chose to beknown for the greatness of his gifts. As a philanthropist, he created a legacy ofeducational funds, museums, and libraries whose effect has lived long after hisdeath. Bill Gates, at one time the most wealthy man in the world – indeed, themost wealthy man ever – made the choice to become perhaps the most extensivephilanthropist ever, throwing his great fortune into matters of health, education,and prosperity for people around the world. Oprah Winfrey, whose success hasshattered records for her gender and her race, has chosen to pour her wealth andher prestige into schools, grants, and gifts that are changing lives.It is to be hoped that you have given back to the world throughout your path tosuccess. It is more vital than ever, though, that having achieved success, youdetermine how to invest some portion of that success back in the world aroundyou.Your success has been in many ways a thing of your own creation. You havechosen your goals, plotted your path, endured your trials, dealt with rivals andenemies, as well as with friends and loved ones. Your skills, your reputation, andyour victory are yours. Yet, they are also granted to you by the world itself. Whatyou have won, you have won at others’ expense. What you have held, you haveheld as much through luck as through your own virtue. If you doubt that you needonly look at a refugee camp, or a rival who died young, or a brilliant fellow student
  14. 14. whose family had to call him back to help support them, to understand that yourvictories are also a gift given you by good fortune.In many cases, it is also a gift given you by the support of your family, theendurance of your friends, the patience of your superiors, the generosity andexcellence of your teachers. No man achieves success without having, in some wayand at some point, been given great support and great resources to draw from. It isin victory and in the heart of success that we can most gloriously give back thatgift. Paying it ForwardThere’s a phrase that has been made famous in Western culture, used long before itwas popularized by a book using the phrase as a title. “Pay it forward” is a bywordfor many.The phrase means that the most powerful, generous, effective gift you can give is agift to the future of others. In many cases, that is interpreted as a gift to the young.Just as often, it’s interpreted as a gift to anyone coming up the path of successbehind you. Regardless, the phrase always refers to an investment in the futuresuccess of others. Where you have succeeded, you now reach out to help otherssucceed, drawing them up the path to stand, in time, where you stand.That act of generosity is, perhaps, the greatest victory of all, for it allows you thepleasure of your own success, and the certainty that your success will in timebecome in some sense a fragment of more success that may last down through theages. How, though, shall you give this great gift? How will the successful man“pay it forward”?There are many ways. For some, who are natural teachers, the best way is to takestudents and teach. Whether you do so within the setting of schools, or as a mentorwithin your own profession and business, you will have the joy and theresponsibility of serving as the guide to future generations. The wisdom, strategy,and skill you’ve mastered over your life can be passed on to others. As yourstudents develop, you may very well come in time to consider their successes yourown greatest victories. The pride and joy you may feel seeing one of your fineststudents step into your own place, as you step aside to enjoy your own old age,may be the deepest pleasure a man can experience.
  15. 15. If you have neither the skill nor the patience to teach, however, that is no shame ordefeat. Not all people are given that gift or develop those skills. There are otherways to pay it forward. You can help develop schools, you can plan or managegrants and trust funds, or you can even create great and lasting prizes, like thePulitzer or the Nobel Prizes. The existence of such mechanisms has done enormousgood, ensuring the world will have a continuing stream of creative genius pouringtheir brilliance out for the good of all.

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