Today is Labor Day in the United States, the traditional end of summer for many of us. It’s also a “start-up” point – back to work after vacations, re-emergence of to-do lists, settling in for the holidays of fall and winter.
It’s also when a lot of young people go back to school in the United States. As children, we doubtless all heard (at least once) “And what do you want to be when you grow up?” As adults, we’ve probably asked that question more than once of the little ones we’ve met or known. The answers are as varied as the children who utter them: detective, teacher, veterinarian, dancer, athlete.
Now might be a good time to look more closely at the question, and ask ourselves how the answers would change if we remember that “doing” and “being” are not the same thing. That question could help us sharpen the definition of success: the careful blending of “do” and “be.”
If we allow paying the bills, competing in school or the workplace, and managing family dynamics to be guided by kindness, compassion, honor and truth, what we do becomes the vehicle for who we are. That guidance lets us relax into relationships, work styles and family interactions; we succeed when allow the scoreboard of doing and the integrity of being to fuse.
The beginning of the school year is a good time to remind our children (and ourselves) that succeeding is a process – not an event – putting success within easy reach, every day, for all of us.