Our Success is Greatest When it is Shared

It’s been a few days since the last entry, but it’s late, so I will keep this short: success is hard to measure.  In fact, unless you have very specific goals in mind, you may never consider yourself truly successful.  I’ve heard so many people say “Oh, I wish I had his career!” or “Oh, she is so successful in everything she does!”  But how are we really measuring this success?  Is it tangible?

For me, sometimes my most successful moments come when I least expect them.  I remember, whilst training with an acting company in New York this past summer, coming off the stage thinking I had royally fucked up my entire part in a play, and I was overjoyed (and genuinely surprised) to hear that so many people were proud of my work and were moved by what I had shared with them.  The co-founder of the company herself, at one point, said “Really good work the other night.”  And another member, who helped me so much in developing a new-found freedom in movement, told me I had “come a long way” since the beginning of the training program.  And so unexpectedly, no matter how brief a period of time it was, I found myself to be successful.

But I don’t just refer to success onstage as an actor, I’m talking about the instances in our lives where we can be proud of ourselves, and say “I have done a good thing.  And I need not be ashamed.”  As simple as sharing our love with a friend or family member, or telling someone with genuine sincerity that they have changed our lives.  This is true success because it is a shared experience, rather than a solo triumph.  To pursue our ambitions with a profound sense of humanity is a success, one made stronger than all the movie contracts, wealth, or diplomas in the world because it doesn’t matter if the world knows us, only if the world we know is made a better place because of our efforts.

~ by Ross on September 13, 2009.

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