Tuesday, August 6, 2013

There Is Plenty To Go Around

As Published in August Issue of Lifestyles Magazine:

Success comes from hard work, determination, tenacity, a set of goals, a clear plan -- and still more hard work and determination. Success doesn’t typically fall into a sleeping person’s lap, but instead belongs to those who bear down and focus up on their dreams.

I’ve seen successful people earning job promotions, starting businesses, losing 25 pounds, buying homes, taking extravagant vacations, spending quality time with their kids, and more.

I feel inspired by them and I am happy for them.  But, if I were honest with myself, the success I saw in others also created a feeling of anxiety in me.  When I heard a friend was moving into a new home I felt the need to hurry up, do more, push harder, work longer, plan better and move into a new home, too. If people around me are receiving the blessings of extra money, validation, and other general goodness in their lives, then I had the nagging feeling that if I didn’t hurry it up, there wouldn’t be any goodness left for me and mine.

That’s how I used to feel.

Somewhere along the way it hit me like a Mack truck. It’s simply untrue that there is a limited amount of goodness in the world. It is simply untrue that blessings are restricted in quantity. It is untrue that because someone has success in their life that I have to compete and fight for my fair share before it all runs out.

Think about this: If we live under the idea that goodness is only available while supplies last, then we create for ourselves a frenzied life that leaves little room for joy and contentment. We end up spending our time grabbing from one another like we are at an 80-percent off clearance sale.

That kind of mentality is not necessary, and it’s not kind. Most importantly, it’s not kind to our own hearts.

In fact, I think life is exactly the opposite. We should openly celebrate the success of others.

I get a little overwhelmed living with the idea of scarcity in which the pie in the sky is being divvied up and depleted as I type. I opt now to believe that there are plenty of blessings to go around and that goodness is not a limited edition. We can actually take a moment to give praise to others and it will not hinder our own success, not one little bit.

Also worth noting, success has a huge range.

For some success may be a new house, for others it might be getting the laundry caught up. Neither is more or less… it is our very own, praiseworthy success.

I believe that if we worry less about competing against one another to get our fair share and instead put more emphasis on supporting each other, then we can be less anxious and a whole lot more joyful.

I am happy to let my friends and family keep their new cars, houses, vacations, and businesses. I am even happier to CELEBRATE their success and blessings -- truly celebrate them, not compete with them. They didn’t take anything away from me. There is plenty to go around.

By the way, that laundry example above, that’s my real life success for this week. It was a really big deal.  I almost celebrated by baking a cake, but then I thought about the dishes it would create. So instead I ate 3 cookies. And then I ate one more.

Feel free to share your thoughts and successes! 

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