America has always been associated as the land of opportunities and success. As we celebrate America’s 243rd Birthday today, I believe as a culture we continue to search for a better life, a brighter future and new opportunities to bring success for ourselves and our families. In a sense, we are more alike than different, because we are all looking to be successful in all areas of our life. It’s what we do.
I think most of us would agree that in essence, no matter what culture we live in, we all desire similar things: to be successful, to be happy, to love someone, and to feel loved.
However, I doubt we have the same definition of what success is. I believe for every person; success could mean a different thing. It’s what makes our life journey unique. I believe success is defined daily in our everyday life when we reach our goals when we’re happy and proud of what we do. The times we practice something until we get it right. All the ways we stay focused on our goals, in spite of any distractions. When we know, even if we are still not there yet, we’re proud of our progress so far. -That’s success at its best!.
In recovery, success can mean just about anything you make of it.
It could be defined by staying in your treatment, or taking your medication, or even making it to the grocery store, or keeping down your job. All these can be a challenge when you’re not feeling well. So we always celebrate people at any level of success in their recovery.
In my own life, success wasn’t associated with a salary grade, or to a bunch of titles, or any special position. But as I look at my life, I still feel successful when I think of how I helped raise our two boys in spite of struggling with depression and anxiety. When I see their life today, I am so proud of them! Motherhood is a great achievement, it's still an incredible job in my book. We help shape a life!
I am also proud of how I could recover from depression and anxiety. That takes a lot of courage and effort to do. I would also have to be proud of all I’ve been able to learn on mental health so far. Having a better understanding of how these challenges affect so many people has been increasingly meaningful to me, to help in their recovery.
-So what’s your success story? Think of what you’ve accomplished in your life. Be proud of it. It probably took an enormous amount of focus and determination. I think success is a tricky word. It always seems like a moving target. As soon as you’ve reached your goals, new levels begin. That’s not a bad thing in itself; but we need to remember to celebrate the things we’ve been able to accomplish as successes, so that we feel proud of ourselves and who we’ve become.
I believe that each of us is already a success. We’ve all had challenges in our life; we’ve been able to overcome and have been transformed by them. I love what Bo Bennet said: “Success is not in what you have, but in who you are.”
Many of us have had a sickness, gone through treatment, or surgery. Those of us, who have kids, -that’s a success to raise them well. Others have gone to School later in life, for their Masters -others for their High School Diploma. How commendable that is! Some have started a new business, even after the first one failed. That takes incredible courage! So many success stories have resulted from failing first, or from starting from scratch. I am always amazed how strong and resilient the human spirit really is!
I think if we consider all we’ve done in life, you’d agree with me that we are successful already. Maybe dwelling on this makes us feel better about ourselves to continue being successful in life. Give yourself some credit for all you’ve overcome. Success is what each one defines as such. I believe we’ve worked hard and made good use of the opportunities we've encountered. Most importantly, we've honored Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Now that's a reason to celebrate!
-Happy Fourth of July!
Maria A. Mansfield