Called to Succeed: by Richard Carlson

Richard was asked the Question for his newspaper column: What is your definition of success? And, what is the key to success in your eyes?

My own definition of success is very different from many other people. It’s based on two aspects. First, is the aspect of service. As Arthur Ashe put it so beautifully, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” A successful life is one where we find our own unique way of sharing our gifts with others. Whether we end up teaching, working with little kids, or elderly people, someone who is handicapped, or helping others to read, or if we enjoy writing as I do, or speaking, or doing something in the legal field, or business community, or running an ethical business that treats people fairly, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not really what you do----it’s how you do it. Does it come from your heart? If it does, then you’re a success in my eyes.

Secondly, I define success as doing something you absolutely love to do; something you would do for free, if you could possibility afford to do so. I know I love writing, for example, because, it’s what I do for fun, even when I know that no one is going to read what I’ve written. I wrote for years with virtually no compensation, getting up early in the morning, often at 2 or 3 A.M, to write. I absolutely loved it. The fact that, eventually, I was published, was a bonus, and was very lucky, but the love of writing was what was calliing me. To me, success means you get to earn a living at something you love doing and you are giving back to others in the process.

Richard Carlson