Value Life

Over the last few years my definition of success has changed. Also my past desire to succeed dwindled at times. It wasn’t until I realized that being a person of principle, or having good character, was more important to me that I found my true definition of success.

Throughout history, countless stories have been told of individuals who were touted as successful, but how many of them were truly authentic?

My childhood would not have been the same without the creative mind of Walt Disney. His ideas were reportedly rejected over 300 times, and a newspaper editor fired him for his lack of creativity and “imagination.”

The University of Bern rejected Albert Einstein, described by a former schoolteacher as “mentally slow,” for his Ph.D dissertation, calling it “irrelevant and fanciful.” He of course went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for the photoelectric effect. Not to mention his theory on relativity corrected the deficiencies for Newton’s physics. Even today the word “Einstein” is synonymous for genius.

Charles Darwin, one of the most influential scientists of the 19th century, wrote in his autobiography: “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect.” His astute observations on biological changes in nature, outlined in “On the Origin of the Species,” fundamentally changed the world of science by identifying the evolutionary process of natural selection. While Darwin’s views on evolution still cause controversy today among some religious people, it’s hard to deny his contribution to evolutionary biology.

I think Einstein got it right when he said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

18 thoughts on “Value Life”

  1. Nice to see someone much younger than myself actually look into history and the great minds of it. There is one great mind you forgot. Peter Hawking. Though severely handicapped he’s one of today’s greatest genius’. There are other great minds out there that have said profound things that don’t even come from the scientific field. For instance, George Carlin and Will Rogers.

  2. I like where you’re going with this, especially in your finishing quote, but you obviously have a lot more to say. Say it.

  3. Nice blog, thoughtful. I like the images. Life is a miracle, fragile and sacred. Read Isabelle Leitner’s “Fragments of Isabella” to learn how fragile and how life fights for itself.

  4. In Anthony Robbins book titled Notes from a Friend he gives additional stories of being authentic and never quitting in the lives of Colonel Sanders–the KFC originator–, Billy Joel, Soichiro Honda–a really incredible story, and in the Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul book there are amazing encouraging stories to keep on keeping on. Your piece here is super. It is important to me to never stop finding and reading great pieces short and long to keep driving the encouragement we all need to believe in ourselves, in our gifts, in our dreams and visions of the life we know deep down inside IS possible. I have books by Thom Rutledge, Brandon Biurchard, Mel Robbins and Ken Richardson and more, plus I am a fan of the wonderful encouraging speeches from TED talks through Nick Vujicic, Lizzy Valesquez, Tevi Gavinson, and more. Keep on writing an encouraging, Avery, because you DO make a huge difference. 🙂 THANK YOU FOR THE FIRST MORNING READING OF MY DAY.

  5. It’s not always that we get to know people with high and meaningful intellectual abilities. Celebrities of this day could pretty much go on without any intellect.

  6. I think there is also something to be said about how we respond to failure. Walt Disney, Einstein and Darwin could have easily given up after rejection, but they kept trying. Persistence and determination are also key to success, regardless of what your definition of success may be.

  7. Interesting post, I liked this

    “It wasn’t until I realized that being a person of principle, or having good character, was more important to me that I found my true definition of success”.

    Can you be a person of principle and good character and still have monetary success? Do you think that success corrupts?

    I hope to read more of your ideas and thoughts in the future. Perhaps I’ll go through some older posts as well.

  8. Hello Avery,
    It occurs to me that a wo/man of value elevates and/or brings new light to ‘what it is to be human’ and contributes to a better world: a world that works for all.


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