I don't believe there's ever been better advice offered on what it takes to achieve success than Henry David Thoreau's message on advancing confidently toward our dreams. Many of us have seen and read the following quote more than once and appreciate it every time we see it. There was a time that I kept it taped to the bottom of my computer monitor as a constant reminder. It's making a comeback and will have a permanent spot on my corkboard. This is only a small part of what Thoreau would share following his experiment at Walden Pond:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws will be expanded and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
Henry David Thoreau, “Walden”
The question then becomes: What does success look like, what does success mean to me?
I’ve asked myself this question dozens of times over the years, as I'm sure most of us have. My journaling on the topic is telling concerning my level of personal growth and understanding. An example of a typical list:
- To earn enough money to achieve financial freedom.
- Find the right relationship.
- Buy a waterfront vacation home.
- Take more trips and spend more time with friends and family.
The list goes on from there and I'm betting there are a lot of very similar lists out there. These are great goals, there's nothing wrong with these things. But they are results of success, not success itself. One can have these things and be utterly miserable in their lives, and therefore unsuccessful.
An insight came to me recently that literally startled me into a more genuine view of what success looks like, for me. In this view of success, there’s no picturing of an impressive home or healthy bank accounts, no exotic vacations or extravagant parties. It was more a feeling or a sudden knowing of a more lasting and higher Truth.
“I want to go to sleep in peace each night, knowing that where I’ve been, who I’ve been, and what I’ve done was the right thing for all concerned.”
The more I thought about it the better I felt. Concerns about business, relationships, money, politics, and so many other things can and will dissolve into a simple and seemingly small place of,
“I know that I showed up in the world today as the best version of myself.”
In reality, it’s the only thing we can do. It may look different one day than it did the day before, but it will always be the right thing.
As a Texas REALTOR, I stay on top of industry standards, state law, ethics, best practices, market trends and statistics, and the latest technology. I have a standard of practice that is driven by ethics and the best outcome for my clients.
It's important that we equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to do what we do. From there, we can confidently move forward each day as the best version of ourselves. That part of the equation for success comes from within; you can't buy it at a seminar or with the latest marketing tool.