Having It All
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Too many people think to be successful you must “have it all”—the latest model car, best house, newest gadgets, etc. The fact is, “all” is an infinite amount that is just not possible to be had by any one person. Our time on this earth is too limited to be spent in the pursuit of things to be had. As the very insightful comedian Steven Wright once said, “You can’t have everything, where would you put it?”
An important step to true and lasting success is the realization that you don’t really want it all. Success is about enjoying what you have and where you are while pursuing achievable goals. It is like growing watermelons. You have to sacrifice some watermelons by cutting them off when small to give other watermelons a better chance to grow to full size. The same holds true for what you want in life. By focusing on a smaller number of goals and being passionate in your pursuit of those goals, you will find the achievement of the goals to be easier and more frequent.
It is the concept of wanting more that prevents many people from achieving success. Although they may be successful in the eyes of others, they do not see themselves as successful. Substitute gratitude for “it all.” Instead of having the newest model automobile, have gratitude and be appreciative for the car you do have.
Let’s examine a few of the more popular philosophies on “having it all.”
- “You can’t have everything.” This is true; “everything” is just too much for any one person to have. However, some interpret this statement to really mean, “You can’t have everything you want.” I say why not? If your wants are reasonable enough, why can’t you?
- “You can have anything and everything you want in life.” If your desires are strong enough and you believe you can achieve your limited wants, then anything is possible.
- “You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.” I only believe this is true if you want everything. Again, limiting your wants is the key to living a fulfilled life, and it is certainly something that can be achieved.
Where do we draw the line? On the one hand, to be successful we must set bold goals and strive to be the best we can be while enjoying the material possessions that motivate us. On the other hand, we must exchange many of our wants and desires for gratitude. I believe that if the wants and desires are truly ours, then they are worth pursuing. When we start creating wants and desires by other people’s standards of success, we set ourselves up for disappointment. I also believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting more as long as we can appreciate what we currently have. If we do not appreciate what we currently have, then “more” will not make us happier or bring us closer to success.
Start right now by adopting an “attitude of gratitude,” and realize your current successes and wealth. Continue to work for and be motivated by your wants and desires, realizing that you can have anything you want that you pursue with passion. By controlling your wants and desires, and having gratitude for what you do have, you are taking a big step upward on your ladder of success.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)