I know I was not born to be great, nor did I ever seek to be. In school, I was satisfied with mediocre and in later years was happy just achieving some degree of success. In fact, it was very important to be successful at something, as for the most part, that is how we are judged. Ironically, in retrospect, I realize now that I learned far more from my failures. I’m reminded of the little boy that was on a field trip to visit a blacksmith. Although being warned to stand back and not touch anything, the temptation was too great. Reaching over, he picked up a hot horseshoe, immediately throwing it across the room. The blacksmith said “Did ya burn yourself?” to which the boy replied “Nope, it just doesn’t take me long to look at a horseshoe.”
When I reflect on the things I did over the years, I can recall having my own share of horseshoes. It’s kind of like rereading a book. There are some chapters that are exactly the way I want them to be, and others I’d prefer were written differently. However, the story has already been told and I am left with the unabridged edition.
Sometimes I come away feeling kind of insignificant. In all the years I have had to make a difference, what have I really done. What accomplishments can I point to with pride and say “I did that?” Not surprisingly, none of them have ever been chronicled in history nor will be remembered by anyone but me. And you know what. I’ve decided that it doesn’t really matter. When all is said and done, what will be important is “How do I think I did.”
I recently came across something that was written by a lady named Regina Brett upon turning 90. It was printed in the Cleveland Ohio Plain Dealer. It was titled “42 lessons life taught me.” In reading them, one of them stuck out to me and I said “Yes, that’s it. That is what it is all about. That is the true meaning of success, and I have done that. It read:
“All that truly matters in the end is that you have loved”