Thursday, January 10, 2013

Success



“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had.” 

The above quotation (which is sometimes written in stanza format with additional words) is frequently attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson and also to Robert Louis Stevenson. According to a comprehensive website devoted to Stevenson, the author was Bessie A Stanley, who wrote it as the winning entry in a contest run by Brown Book Magazine in 1904, the task being to answer “What constitutes success?” in under 100 words. See: 

(The website, which is interesting in its own right, is at: 

Bessie’s great granddaughter has supported Bessie’s authorship: 

There is a good discussion by Dirk Kelder as to the authorship of the work at: 

Kelder also quotes an alternative anonymous item on what success means: 

At age 4, success is...not peeing in your pants.
At age 12, success is...having friends. 
At age 16, success is...having a driver's licence. 
At age 20, success is...having sex. 
At age 35, success is...having money. 
At age 40, success is...finding meaning & purpose to life. 
At age 45, success is...finding meaning & purpose to life. 
At age 50, success is...having money. 
At age 60, success is...having sex. 
At age 70, success is...having a driver's licence. 
At age 75, success is...having friends. 
At age 80, success is...not peeing in your pants.



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