Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Synposis: Just what is success and what does it mean to be successful? "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal," Earl Nightingale told us in The Strangest Secret. In this poem, our very own Emerson tells us what, according to him, success is.


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.