“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love …
Do I feel successful at night when I lay down to sleep? I sense that the answer to this is yes, however, I still feel that I could do more, that I could do better. There are times when I find myself wondering if I am using my talents and abilities to their highest possible effect and in ways that best serve others and their needs. I even question if the things I do really matter–if my contributions to the world are at all important. I have very little money to help others when they are experiencing hard times, I find myself too busy some days to be there for those who may need me, and at times I even get too busy satisfying my own wants and desires that I fail to ask myself, “What are the needs of others?”
However, I really should be realistic with myself and of the expectations I hold, for success does not have to be something I can quantify or that others can see. In addition, I need to keep in mind that we each have certain talents and abilities in life that are stronger than others, and it would seem to me a good measure to think that using them to serve others is the most important element of success. After all, I have an extremely limited influence in this world, and so it would be very unrealistic of me to measure my success by any other terms.
If I go by Marianne’s definition of success, there are many days in which I have not succeeded–days in which I have fallen short of my potential for serving others. Yet I should not allow this to make me feel like my talents are not worth sharing. Instead, I have the ability to use this knowledge to aspire to succeed in a new way that benefits both myself and everyone around me. There are plenty of people in my life who have talents and abilities that are certainly needed by those who do not possess those talents. Some people are good at helping others work through issues and problems… some are not. Some can build, others cannot. The world needs all of our unique talents and abilities, and if we allow ourselves to serve others, then we will find success each night when we go to sleep.
Living life to the fullest involves finding ways to serve others and to leave our own unique marks of success in their lives. These marks can be small, and they can be modest, for they are always part of a much greater whole and their marks go on to affect others as well. And once we do discover ways in which we can serve others with our talents and abilities, we will begin to see our lives through different eyes at the end of the day–eyes with much greater gratitude and clarity.
Take some time today to serve another with your unique talents and abilities.
Questions to consider:
What are your three strongest abilities? Who might benefit from you sharing them?
Why do so many of us think that we have to serve many people for our service to be worthwhile?
From where do we get the idea that service must be far-reaching to be worthwhile? Is that an accurate assessment?
For further thought:
“It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.” ~ George Washington Carver