Sunday Inspiration: How do you know you have succeeded?

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson



  1. Emma
    September 18, 2011 / 12:13 pm

    i have the affection of children, the respect of intelligent people may take a while. O do t think I know any!
    I hope you have succeeded x

  2. September 18, 2011 / 2:26 pm

    Hi Becky, I’ve always loved a longer version of this since I read it in the front of a book I was sent to review about a woman who died of cancer and her sister included it as a tribute to her. I know lots of people will find it very sentimental but I have read it over again and find it very moving. It’s good to see success defined like that, when I blogged about it, it was also fairly pointed out that a ‘healthy’ child could be seen as uninclusive – perhaps a ‘happy child’ would be better 🙂 xx:

    To laugh often and much

    to win the respect of intelligent people

    and 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 redeemed

    social condition; to know even

    one life has breathed easier because

    you have lived. This is to have succeeded

  3. Kate Cunningham
    September 18, 2011 / 3:44 pm

    OOH… I’m going away to think about that one! Hopefully I’ll come up with an answer.

  4. Kate Cunningham
    September 18, 2011 / 5:28 pm

    Ok, I’ve had a think about it while I was flying around doing other things…. I think you can only measure success against the goals you set, so to succeed you need to know what you want to achieve. Anything else is just a by-product along the way.
    (I did write a lot more but deleted it because I was getting bogged down with explanations!) For a difficult question like this, sometimes a simple answer is best!

  5. Jen Stanbrook
    September 18, 2011 / 5:45 pm

    Wow! I love this comment

  6. Becky
    September 18, 2011 / 7:38 pm

    Thank you linda for the long version it’s loveky and I agree with you it’s a fab quote ( I never mind sentimental! ) Kate I think you make a great point too, your success is a measure of your own aims no one elses. Thanks you jen and Emma for commenting too. 😉

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