Tuesday, January 31, 2012

At Last! Principle the Ninth


Or maybe that should read, "Redefine the Terms Success and Failure."

Once when I appeared on a panel, an audience member asked a) how many kids I have and b) how many books I've published. I answered, "I have five kids, and I've published eleven books." And then suddenly THESE surprising words flew out of my mouth: "But I wish I have eleven kids and five books."

Which . . . isn't true. Hello. ELEVEN KIDS? Apparently I just had one of those little mini-strokes you're always reading about. And besides, that's not what I really meant. What I really meant to say is that I have other meaningful things in my life besides a career . . . just like you do. Family. Friends. Hobbies. Cupcakes. Dogs. A church life. Mexican food. Road trips. Satisfying TV shows. Novels. My garden.

Sometimes, though, we start tossing that label FAIL around when we don't achieve what we want to in certain arenas. And we start stretching that label to define everything about us, which is . . . silly. Why devalue the things about our lives that we value?

(BTW m-m-m-m-m. Cupcakes.)


Emily said...

Mexican food for me too. Swimming, running, hiking, making quilts for my kids, reading, baking, cooking, eating, road trips, Disneyland, beaches (any kind; ocean or lake) and camping in mountains.

Erin said...

I think that we as humans find it easier to dwell on the failures than the successes. I know that I dwell more on the failures of my life than my successes which usually gets me stuck in the cycle of self-pity. Anyway, thanks for the post. I should be grateful for what I have, I just have a hard time remembering that.

radagast said...
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Dylan C. said...

I don't want 11 kids, either. But, I already consider myself successful because I started a family and my wife and daughter love me. Grandpa taught me that a career is just something you do; a husband, father and friend is what you are and if you're bad at those 3 as a man you are a failure.