A List of Successful People That Changed My Life

(When I write for public consumption I have been inspired by something strongly enough that I feel compelled to write. I go straight from the hip and don’t edit except for spelling)

I was asked to write a list of successful people in my life as part of a meditation program this morning and even I was surprised who made this list. The first people that came to mind are not known in the public eye and as far as I know, not know outside their local communities or families. 

I know a lot of rich people, very rich people. Few, if even a few, made my list today and if they did, it wasn’t because they have a big bank account. 

When I think of “rich” there are lots of stressed out, unhappy, unsatisfied people that come to mind. People whose presence makes me agitated, anxious, and usually bored. People like myself who found out, after years of pursuing “wealth” that they only had a pile of worldly riches was like having a lifetime supply of toilet paper…one less thing they have to worry about but doesn’t give one too much satisfaction. 

Money is a catalyst for a lot of things and is definitely a building block to success, but in my world it’s not the cornerstone. 

There was a time when my list would have contained the richest people I know because that was my mindset for so many years. As I’ve mentioned before, there will be a book someday on my view of how my pursuit of success ruined my life (temporarily) and my journey back. I’m still on that journey so book has gotta wait.

When I started my list there was 1 name that I couldn’t wait to get on the page. A relative of mine that I spent a small amount of one-on-one  time with growing up but I did spend a lot of time in his world. When I say, “his world” I mean around the community of people he influenced. 

He, like all the others on my list is an extremely humble man, strong, confident, and openly loving. But those were not the attributes that I found myself thinking about when I was inspired to put a name on my list.

What I found myself thinking about when I was trying to figure out what success meant to me was a feeling. That feeling could best be described as a feeling of peace I get in their presence. It was a feeling of peace that I felt/feel when in conversation with them. A feeling of comfort, safety, and protection. For some, it could be likened to being in the presence of an adored parent or family member. 

You get me so far?

It’s also a feeling that comes from me. That feeling is one of admiration, inspiration and aspiration. A feeling that, “Man, I wish I was more like him/her.” 

I’m not impressed by money or fancy things. Some of the most unhappy people I know have a lot of both and even though they know they loathe the emptiness they get when the high wears off, they still continue down that road for more.

Sorry for the rant. Back to success and what it means to me.

With all those on my list, they are also flawed. They present themselves to the world, warts and all. I love authenticity and realness. No human is perfect and I love that. I love the fact that I know the mistakes of this group and love and admire them anyway. 

I would also add that looking through my list, I would also say that most of this group aren’t commercially attractive. Hmmm. 

This, or versions of this piece of art have shown up in my feed recently and I love it. It’s Banksy’esk but I think this piece is from someone else. This speaks to me and definitely represents a personal view/reaction of mine to popular culture.

Let me pull back the curtain a bit on myself before you think I’m getting all high and mighty. I am a seriously messed up individual. I’m still trying to figure this out and if you’re noticed, I love to talk about myself a lot and humble is not a word that I think most people would describe me. As a matter of fact, I think scary and annoying might be words that people would use to describe me. I’m also a bit intense and pretty much always loud. I have a long way to go.

I like to stand out and call attention to myself and be “cool”. With grey hair and the extra 20 pounds I’m carrying around that is really becoming a chore.

I guess I’m just writing this to let the world know that I learned something today. I learned that I have gone through a real paradigm shift in my life and worldview. 

I just wanted to share that I don’t agree with the popular view of success so someone else out there who’s scared to think the same way might feel inspired to break free and just be themselves.

Who would be on your list and why?

Like I said before, I don’t really write formally but this is my conclusion.  A C+ effort if I’m lucky.

Feel free to rant back or shine some love my way. I love both.