Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spirit's success story

What is success? I guess I've always thought of it as something that is measured externally. Meaning, you can tell if a person is successful by what they've achieved or built or earned. But I saw a movie over the weekend that's making me think that maybe success is something else again: Will Smith's Pursuit of Happyness.

As you may know, it's the based-on-a-true-story of Chris Gardner, a down-and-out salesman who is failing at supporting his wife and son. He's talented at sales, but has a crappy product that's next to impossible to sell. He stumbles on the opportunity to take an unpaid internship for six months to become a stock broker. His fed up, overstretched wife leaves him, and he and his son wind up homeless as he struggles to excel enough as an intern to earn the coveted job at the end.

It's unreal what he has to go through to make it through those six months. For every set back, he finds a next step. Sometimes his choices are foolish, other times they are nothing short of heroic. Of course, you're rooting for him throughout. He never gives up.

I love this quote: "Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall" (Oliver Goldsmith). It's occurring to me now that Gardner's success was not something that happened all at once at the end of the story. Success was a part of him throughout. It was inherent in his nature, and he refused to let anything else be the outcome. At various times, he showed humility, grace, willingness and tenacity. He kept his self-respect no matter what was happening. He could let the smaller slights go because he kept his eyes on the goal—being able to support his son.

So I'm thinking today that success is more of an internal quality than I thought. It's a state of mind, something we consent to, that we insist upon. We need to see it as part of our identity, part of our makeup. It is who we are, not what we do. What we do is the outcome of the mental state of success within.

And, because we're the direct emanation of the infinitely successful divine Spirit, we don't ever need to question whether we're allowed to think of ourselves as a success. Spirit succeeds at whatever it does. Since we're made by Spirit, we're each an instance of Spirit's success. It stands to reason then that each of our lives can and should be an ongoing example of Spirit's success story.

You are the star of Spirit's success story. Take on this role within, and you'll see the results outwardly.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 1/04/2007 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Dear Laura...I love this movie and your reminder to look for the accomplishments within...honesty, perserverence, affection, grace....even (or maybe especially) when it seems like expressing these qualities ourselves is unwarranted by another's unkindness or our own feelings of being the only success that matters...thank you my freind..Kate


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