Success

SG Séguret
2 min readApr 23, 2023

April Ambles: Reflections of a Philosophical Forager — Day 22

Photo © SG Séguret

How do we define success in our own lives? It is easy enough to reflect on success in others’ lives. But our own? Are we able to step back enough to see how far we have come and measure our own success? And does it need measuring? Isn’t it enough to simply have moved from A to B?

In the photo above, all three boules are remarkably close to the cochonnet, but one is just enough closer to have achieved the point, thereby claiming success.

Are not all three successful? Are not the multiple other boules which have been tossed, even if they are nowhere in the vicinity of the target, a success as well? Is it not enough just to have shown up?

In high school, in college, someone graduates at the top of the class. That person is awarded the designation summa cum laude. But are any of the others in the class less successful? They have shown up as they could, and they are all receiving diplomas.

Some would define success as landing a top paying job or the “perfect” house in the “perfect” neighborhood. Others would label success as receiving recognition for something accomplished, or appearing on the front page of a Fortune 500 magazine.

I prefer to define success as simply showing up. Being there. Doing less rather than more. Savoring each moment, no matter the feeling. Being present for the person in front of me, even and especially if that person is simply me.

Why should we grant others more sympathy than ourselves? Why should we be kinder to everyone else? How can we learn to treat ourselves with as much compassion as we would our children our our best friend?

How we see ourselves is a huge measure of our success. Being aware of feelings that bring us discomfort is one step. We can embrace those feelings and elect to change them. We can learn to see ourselves as successful every step of the way. For it is not about the end of the way. It is about the path we walk all along.

For more amblings from the author, check out Child of the Woods: An Appalachian Odyssey.

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SG Séguret

Susi Gott Séguret, fiddler, dancer, photographer, chef, is author of multiple works, including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods & Cooking with Truffles.