To laugh often and 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.
This is often attributed to one of my favorite authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In fact, in my own collection of quotes and poems, I had it in his folder. But I recently read that it is actually an adaptation of a poem published in 1905 by Bessie Stanley. No version of it has ever been found in Emerson’s writings.
At any rate, it is an absolutely beautiful assessment of what success truly is and I love it muchly.