When I was in middle school we had to memorize poems and recite them in front of the class. Maya Angleou was my mother’s favorite poet and by default at the tender age of thirteen she became my favorite poet too. So I memorized Weekend Glory, which I still remember today. Some ditchy folks don’t know the facts, posin’ and preenin’ and puttin’ on acts. Stretchin’ their necks and strainin’ their backs they move into condos up over the racks. – I digress. That assignment drew me to other poems by Dr. Angelou and one simple poem stuck with me:
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach for hearts is wise. — Dr. Maya Angelou
I always thought of myself as ambitious, full of dreams and hopes, which later became goals. As I grew older I learned the true meaning of that poem. As Maya Angelou said, people may not always remember what you did or said, but they always remember how you made them feel. The important things in life are not the titles we gain throughout the journey. No, the important things in life are the connects we make with other human beings, other spirits, other lights. I finally stopped being an ambitious goal seeker and started being wise. I started leading my life with my heart instead of my head. I was finally true to myself. I had always been caring, but was caught up in ambitious goals; the stars. Now, I view my goals in a different lens; one that enables me to focus on the small ways I am making an heart impact. And no I’m not talking about the peer-review journal, Heart. I’m talking about how I make my mother feel, my father, my brother, my colleagues, my friends, strangers, and myself feel. I’m not saying that I’m perfect, their are definitely times that I forget to consider the possible reactions to my actions, especially if the individual is not respecting me. Their are also situations when I have to look out for me, because no one else is. But their is a way to act that resonates peace and humility, and that is what I strive for.
My definition of success is the peace and joy that I have and share with others; not my job title or bottom line. This peace comes from within. It naturally lives in us and it is love.
I challenge you to be wise and to reach for hearts, instead of stars.
Image made using the InstaQuote app.