He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.

Bessie Anderson Stanley

In 1904, “Brown Book Magazine” held a contest in which they asked readers to define success. When Kansas woman Bessie Anderson Stanley submitted her answer, she likely never dreamed her words would someday be misattributed to famed authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Louis Stevenson. In the poem Stanley submitted, she highlighted appreciation of nature, kindness toward others, and having “left the world better than [one] found it” as tenets of a successful life. Stanley’s words ground us in what is truly important, and they remain resonant more than a century later.