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Old 05-12-2015, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
Being accomplished means different things to different people. I can remember when I was in nursing school 40 years ago and one of my clinical rotations was at a longterm hospital that cared for the profoundly mentally and physically challenged. One day when I was at the hospital there was a party going on and I asked who was having a birthday. It was no birthday party, it was a party for a 10 year old boy who could finally brush his own teeth after 5 long years of intense occupational therapy. Nothing I have or will do in this life will top what that very challenged boy was able to accomplish. Whenever my life hits a rough spot I think back on that boy who has no clue how much he has been an inspiration to me all these years
Excellent point! -- People are sometimes able to 'accomplish' great things by discipline and will power --- that find no place in the world's record of 'great accomplishments.' Steady, unsung faith often produces these 'accomplishments.'

Another aspect of accomplishment is its effect on others (as illustrated in your post). Finally, the most important measure of 'accomplishment' will be found in how we lived our lives in God's eyes.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsy girl View Post
i've never really felt the need to have accomplishments,goals, as some people may define them.

early in my life i was involved in professional music training, and although i never became a professional musician that would have matched the level of my training, i was always involved in music, in performance, as a soloist, and as a part of a musical group. i have had people say to me, after an especially good performance, that they have never heard a particular piece sound as good, and that the music really touched them in a way that few things had. these kind of comments were years ago, and i don't sound the way i once did. but, i continue to cherish and remember some of those experiences.

in the years i worked as a geriatric social worker, my so-called "day job", i know that i made a difference in some peoples' lives, at the very least, being a sounding board for some who were facing difficult, almost impossible decisions. through the years, outside of work, i have often taken that role with friends and acquaintances, assuming a listening ear for some who were trying to work through difficult relationships and facing losses they never expected to encounter. i know that some of these people appreciated having an objective response to their dilemmas, as they have later told me so.

in the teaching i do now, at life long learning, i have some students who after every semester, let me know that they appreciate what they feel i have given them, in terms of trying to develop into reminiscence writers.

i have often heard that we are put in the path of others to effect a change in their life , or to have them change ours. this may be true, but it was never something i had as a goal. i'm content with the memories and don't feel the need to strive for any more tangible accomplishments.

catsy girl
Without labeling it as such, your definition of 'accomplishment' is clearly "making a difference in the lives of others." As we mature, I believe this is the 'light' by which most people ultimately measure themselves. As the old axiom says, "No one lying on their death bed will say, "I only wish I could have spent more time at the office."

With regard to "day jobs," it is probably the things we choose to do for others without pay, that most define who we really are. When I look at my life, it's not the 40-years I spent working in corporations that I regard as 'important', but, the 30+ years I spent working in the ministry (preaching, teaching and counseling nights and weekends ... often 4-5 times), that stand-out as significant. More specifically, it is the lives that were touched and changed during that time.

The "man in the mirror" has much more to say about our significant accomplishments, than the world.

Last edited by jghorton; 05-12-2015 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickDD View Post

Although I am not what society would deem a 'religious person,' I find tremendous meaning (and pause for ponderance) in the prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.


That pleading is full of objectives to attain the goal of being the best human being that I can be. That's the goal... not an 'arrival status'! Wow, for certain, I am still a work in progress!

So I reflect back on my life, and look forward to the years yet ahead, with these thoughts:
Have I been an instrument of peace? How can I best be one from here on?
Did I sow love to overcome hatred? How will I sow love today?
Did I pardon or allow bitterness to fester? Remove the bitterness from my heart.
Did doubt to limit my abilities, or did I have faith in the gifts granted by Divine Providence? I CAN!
Did despair dim the catalyst of hope? Sometimes, but today is the first day of the rest of my life. Carpe diem!
Was I a cause for other people's comfort or for others' distress? Be a comforter.
Were my eyes and ears open while my mouth was shut, or vice versa? Four inputs, one output... remember that!
Do I really love? And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
WAS LIFE A JOY? To the extent that I can choose, choose the bright side of the road.

What do you think? I'd like to know.
Even as a minister, I often think that what passes for 'religion' ... and $3.95 will buy one a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It sounds to me that you are perhaps one of those who has 'become a law unto themselves ... by doing the things required of the 'law', without the law. There is no question that God is present in almost every 'value' you have expressed.

I do not know you or what is in your heart, but, I deeply admire your goals and philosophy. Mine are perhaps the same, but, I claim no altruistic motive. I am motivated (I hope), almost entirely by the love of God and a burning desire to draw nearer to Him.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipoetry View Post
To the posters who take credit for raising good children as a life accomplishment, would you take the blame if your kid was a bad apple? I ask this because we too raised a great man, kind and decent for 38 years. He's given us two wonderful grandkids, he's successful in business, owns a beautiful house but 4 months after his divorce he met a borderline personality disorder woman and for the last 2 years we hardly recognize him or his behavior. Do I blame myself for who he's become? Absolutely not. Do I take credit for his achievements, nope. Not at all. He's fallen down her rabbit hole.
As Dobson said, "Raising kids isn't for cowards." I think that raising kids in love, and, to the best of our ability, doing what we believe is best and right for them, ... and teaching them Godly principles of truth, righteousness and 'fear of the Lord' is all anyone can do. (For the sake of those taking exception to the phrase 'fear of the Lord,' I am talking about respect, awe and reverence... not some parody of 'being afraid'.

I used to ascribe to the philosophy, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," but, all we can do is "train up a child in the way they should go" ... and then release them into the world. From that point, people must take responsibility for their own good and bad choices, decisions and consequences. If a child/adult follows the good path in which they were raised, then, I believe the parents deserve some credit. If they do not, the parents who did their very best, still deserve some credit.

The parents who deserve responsibility for self-absorbed, arrogant children/adults who have no respect for themselves or others ... are those who abandon their role, privilege and the great influence they hold as parents. But, even so, people reach an age where they are accountable for their own lives.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
Interesting responses and insights into what people find important.
We are born and we die, and yes, in 150 years we are unlikely to have been more than a tiny insignificant blip on history's radar. My take- is that while we are here, what we do does matter. We don't exist in a vacuum, and how we live our lives affects our family, our friends, our community.
I have been very fortunate- lots of twists and turns, no straight paths anywhere; there are people who have had a profound impact on my life. Some have shown me how to be a better person, another whose generosity changed the course of my life forever, and yet others who showed me a different way of living in this world.
As for my accomplishments, well, I have DONE a lot of things, lots of life experience, a couple of phenomenally bad decisions, but what I see as accomplishments likely aren't what others would. An advanced degree sits gathering dust in my desk- is that really an accomplishment of just part of a broader life experience? I helped a young woman purchase a house that she otherwise would never have been able to afford; I have provided shelter for the homeless both human and animal; I continue to work to make the world a better place for companion animals. Hopefully something I have done has made a difference, but I don't know that that is my call to make.
It's always seemed to me that life is a lot like raising kids. We never know how well or poorly we did until 'after the fact' when we are looking back. I guess the trick is to look back often and make corrections as we move forward. Unfortunately, some seem to make the same mistakes over and over and over ... hoping, perhaps, that things will turn-out differently (aka: 'the definition of insanity').
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania & New Jersey
1,497 posts, read 3,535,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
... The parents who deserve responsibility for self-absorbed, arrogant children/adults who have no respect for themselves or others ... are those who abandon their role, privilege and the great influence they hold as parents. But, even so, people reach an age where they are accountable for their own lives.
That reminds me of this link I recently came across:
Discipline your children now so a Correctional Officer won't have to do it later.
In my opinion, it is surely NOT absolute, but IS generally true.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:39 AM
 
698 posts, read 525,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
As we get older, I think many of us ask the question/s: "What have I accomplished in my life?" - "Have I really made a difference that mattered in the world or in the lives of others ... (by whatever standard one chooses to measure such a thing). This is probably more fundamental than a simple "What things have I DONE?" question or answer

- I'm going to have to think about this some more, but, a couple of things come to mind. We've raised some decent, hard-working, God-fearing kids who are instilling those values in their own families (breaking some destructive generational patterns in my own family). In the ministry, I've participated in the Lord's work (not mine) of significantly changing the lives of others. After 47-years of marriage and a 40-year career, (now 7-years retired), it feels like I've seen my commitments to others through.
Thanks for creating this thread...I like reading older people's perspectives.

I'm in my mid 40's. I may not be that deep a person. I don't think I've accomplished too much really. It is possible I've encouraged some younger people to attempt to strive for whatever their particular goals are. I've attempted to encourage my own children to take action as to their own goals.

If living by example is to be used, I've not done that as well as I could (to this point). If nothing else, my kids have seen that a semi-deeply faulted individual (like myself) can still move along relatively happily, despite foibles . Mainly I'd like my children to live a happy life, if that means great accomplishments, then go for that. If that means playfully fluttering about, doing no harm to others, I'm ok with that also.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:16 AM
 
Location: City of the Angels
2,222 posts, read 1,666,064 times
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My accomplishment was learning to shine a light when there is darkness.
The spiritual journey in all religions is to achieve intellectual and spiritual enlightenment and to help others to go down that path by overcoming adversarial conditions and physical restrictions while in this physical plane.

The question you need to ask yourself is if within the physical boundries of the universe that you live in and the people that you engage in daily, is it a better or worse place to be in ?

Like the old adage, some people bring joy and happiness when they come into a room, some people bring joy and happiness when they leave.

Which one of these is you ?
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Beats me. Pretty much working all of the time and trying to pay the day care bills.

Helping some others along the way.

Drinking a cold beverage every now and then.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,268 posts, read 12,507,549 times
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"For the testament of man is as the leaves of grass, and lo, the grass withereth." - King James

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

- Shelley

"11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after." - The Preacher
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