What is success?

Living Yoga Poetry Yoga

sarah jamieson yoga

I was recently inspired by the powerful and poetic definition of success Elisabeth-Anne Anderson Stanley presents in this poem:


To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

(Source: Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie, p.vi)

I want to write my own definition of success so I can act with integrity in my pursuit of it. (Also, it is often easier to get somewhere when you’ve clarified where you want to go.) I welcome your thoughts, ideas, and critique. I want this definition to evolve with time, experience, and discussion.

Success: My Story of It

To speak the truth; to seek awareness and understanding; and
To compassionately care for the well-being of all living creatures;

To move with grace; to be at peace in the mystery;
To choose discomfort over resentment and
To be vulnerable;

To share the story of my heart and
to care for the hearts of others;

To cultivate a playful, curious, and generous spirit;
To seek beauty and to spend time in the trees;
To embody love;

To find the peace in the present moment,
the laughter in the midst of sorrow,
and the joy in the struggle;

To act with integrity; to stand against injustice, and
To be able to look future generations in the eye and say,
“I took care.”

To live honourably amongst a village.
This is to have succeeded.

What does success mean to you?


Photo Credit: Chris Yakimov