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Monday, February 09, 2009

Leaning Toward the Light


Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

-Albert Schweitzer


I love this quote, but I think writers too often misinterpret this sort of thing as meaning if you love it, then money and fame and perhaps a National Book Award or two will definitely come. Not so, of course, there are too many other factors (from talent to timing to the mood of the market to luck itself) to guarantee anything of the sort, but I think that living a life you love is the definition of success.

Besides, joy shines through art, whether it's writing, music, dance, teaching, or what have you. And people respond to that joy, leaning toward the light.

Maybe it won't necessarily bring you world domination, but satisfying, meaningful work is a reward unto itself.

3 comments:

Suzan Harden said...

People misinterpret Mr. Schweitzer because they're looking for a measurement, not the thing itself.

Dorothy Hagan said...

You are SO right, Colleen. When you allow yourself to act on your passion, it brings an energy, a happiness that is extremely powerful. Right now things with my mother are disasterous, but in the renewal of my writing I have come alive like I haven't for years. Everywhere I go, every street I traverse, I am finding inspiration for my current project.

Lucky me who knows what my passion is!

BTW: I am totally enjoying The Salt Maiden!

Colleen Thompson said...

Suzan,
I think people are always looking to rank themselves in comparison to others, and since happiness isn't quantifiable, they use the handy barometer of $$$ and the trappings of success.

Dorothy,
I'm so happy you've found a path that's resonating for you.

Thank you for the kind words re. The Salt Maiden. May you continue to enjoy it.

And hugs for the situation with your mother. That can't be easy.

Best,
C