what true success looks like

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True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice
— Francis of Assisi

Success in our world gives the appearance of a big celebration, rewards and honour. While true success, is more about daily habits that we build. The congratulations at the end are a well deserved reward for our hard work - but to me, they are not the success itself. 

Any success you've ever had in your life, no matter how small you might see it as, is always a bi-product of your hard work. The fitness schedule you've kept to for a strong body, nourishment you feel from eating healthfully and even the calm you have obtained from being on the spiritual path, have all been rewards for your daily habits that you have had the courage to keep. 

We all have big dreams and goals for the future, so it can often feel like we aren't 'getting there' as fast as we would like. As a writer, I know how frustrating this can be. Writing a book, for example, takes time to research, write and edit. To create a masterpiece painting, takes time and planning. Any dream that you want to fulfill will take time - so why not enjoy the journey? 

Francis of Assisi reminds us that true progress moves along quietly and persistently without notice. The progress being made toward our dreams will at times feel like a slog. We will feel stuck, uninspired or lacking in energy. Francis suggests to us that this isn't failure - this is progress. We move through the blocks, we find our inspiration within ourselves and learn to inspire others through our work. The progress we make is quiet and unassuming. It makes no big entrance or triumphant finish. The key, Francis suggests, is in the persistence. Although no-one else will notice, or even care about what we are doing initially, in the end our persistence will pay off. 

Life really does listen to us when we work toward our dreams. Although it may not seem like you are making a difference straight away, just remember that each of your actions has a consequence. Your daily habits will, in the end, determine your success. The universe responds to every thought you think and every action that you make. As long as you keep doing something each day, each week and each month toward your dream, you will receive opportunities to help you along the way - its all about your mindset. 

Unless we learn these successful habits in the present, our future will be lacking. Imagine yourself being successful right now - don't you think you would feel a little under-prepared? There are important steps we need to take on our road to success, so that when we get there, the external markers of success will feel better. We will have the skills, the worthiness and the habits to be able to sustain it. There is a certain satisfaction to refining your craft, so that you can not only have success, but be able to share the best of your skills with others. Every time I try to rush my novel I think to myself, 'do I want to create this quickly, or do I want to do it properly?'. I would rather take longer to produce something that is the best I can possibly do, than rush the process.

I think this is what Francis is trying to tell us. Success is easy - it just takes persistence, quiet work and a desire to better ourselves.