I've been watching the Olympics. My husband asked me who I was rooting for in a competition. My answer may be strange, but I said that I was rooting for whoever was up at the moment. I had no favorites, I was cheering each journey as unique.
There is a teacher/speaker named Taylor Mali who talks about his role as a teacher. He says he can "make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face. (How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.)" I feel that the Olympians measure their success in much the same way. There is the athlete who feels they should have received gold, but earned a silver. Then there is the person no one expected to be in contention earning a medal, but ends up on the podium. For me, I love the story of Arthur Mariano who earned a bronze for his floor routine. His joy at winning bronze was so complete that it still brings tears to my eyes. I cheer for that person rather than the person who feels disgraced at winning the silver.
I watch the Olympics because the athletes gather together after years of hard work and sacrifice to live their dream. Their measures of success may be different, but from where I sit, they can all be called Olympians.
My goal is to be published. I am at it for hours and hours each day. I am a writer now working on becoming an author. May my first success be as exciting as Arthur's. May someday I feel that selling a 100,000 copies of a single book constitutes a failure. But may I never lose the joy of my craft just as the athletes should never lose the joy of their sport.
What will success look like for you?
I watched a newscast recently talking about how reading books could help you live longer. Finally! I was expecting it to tell me I was more likely to gain a few pounds be sitting around reading. Instead, it was all about the benefits.
I love to read. When I was young, we had a piano in our house. I grew up thinking I needed to have a piano in my own house until I realized I didn't play the piano. I have bookshelves in my house instead. It is simply a matter of doing what you love and surrounding yourself with that love.
I have friends who will only read a book once. I can understand that, but sometimes it is worth visiting an old friend, right? Even just reading the title on the shelf can bring back memories much like a photograph. I know your secrets and I won't tell. I read you when I was having a hard time win my life. You made me laugh. You made me stronger. How could I give that away?
I remember an old Twilight Zone episode where a serious reader wishes that no one was around to bother him so he could read in peace. He wakes up the next day as the last person on earth. As he lines up all the books he wants to read, he ends up breaking his glasses rendering him unable to read....
Everything in moderation, I guess. Still, a day to myself with a good book sure seems promising.