Defining Success

AllaboutrelationshipsI have talked a lot about my trips backpacking on the American River. I often mention how they inspire deep thinking and clearing of the mind. This particular trip had me pondering about what really matters in life. Which was inspired by a man named Chuck.

There was little to no people on the trail down, just the way we like it. We were happy living the next 4 days off what we could carry on our backs. 

Each evening we would sit on the river side, soaking in the day, the sound of the rushing river, and the smell of the mountain air. Our camp was set up on a warm sand bar. All I think about is how I never want moments like this to end.

Real success for me is not sought after in the material world, but rather, I seek to discover my world within. I do not condemn the things material life has to offer. We all want the things that life has to offer, but do we need them as much as we think we do….

I ponder success and what it means to me. I find that real success is found in loving relationships. With our families, friends, strangers and anyone who crosses our paths.relationships

Though most of weekend we found ourselves alone, we did end up crossing paths with a man who lived on the river. His name is Chuck. He has a solar-powered set up around his beaten tent.

Later we talked with some men in the town near by, that people in the area had come to know Chuck. They would often leave him with 6 packs or sticks of beef jerky.

I felt deep compassion for Chuck even though my first reaction was fear (maybe because he talked about things in our world would seem inappropriate and honestly a little frightening).

However, with him I could see beyond that, he was a human being weathered and tired. Nonetheless good intended. I think it is kindness shared, support given, and received, listening, giving and caring that defines true success.

These things will endure while our cars will rust, our toys will break and we will tire of the temporary gratifications that bring us what we think is real. What matters is people. What lasts is love. What counts are true relationships and if you treasure these you can count yourself a success.


How do you count success? Please share with me in the comments below or follow me on twitter @kelliehiking.


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