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Monday, June 2, 2014

Maya Angelou

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

American Author
1928 - 2014

How do you define success? Many people define success as wealth and fame, but these are illusionary and short-lived. Just think of the stories you have read of rich people who are now homeless.

I think Maya Angelou is on the right track when she says that success is about liking and loving yourself and what you do. As creative artists we may never have fame or fortune, but if we like what we do, we are truly blessed. Do you love what you do? Do you enjoy painting, writing, acting or singing? And most creative leaders will answer that they do love what they do. The more difficult questions is: do you like yourself?

Happiness is accepting who you are, no matter what the warts, scars and pimples. Some people live a lifetime and never learn to like themselves. We are all humans and we have all made mistakes. Maya Angelou describes many of the challenges and mistakes of her life in her six autobiographies, including her rape at age eight as well as working as a teenage prostitute. Today Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, actress and filmmaker. Dr. Angelou has received over 30 honorary degrees. In 2011 President Barack Obama presented Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Have you learned to like yourself? To accept who you are and from where you have come? True success is about loving oneself.

Here is Maya Angelou reading her poem, And Still I Rise, an anthem for us all.