Bob Dylan’s Definition of Success

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan (Source: Robin Ruddy)

I believe that is true for women too.

I know that I feel successful and happy when I do what I want to do. When I don’t do what I want to do, it feels as though I’m dancing to the tune of someone else’s drummer. I don’t like that feeling at all.


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Following Your Passion, Joy & Happiness, LIfe Lessons, Observations, Quotes I Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Bob Dylan’s Definition of Success

    • russtowne says:

      Such talent! Wow! I’d be proud to be a drum dancer with talent like that. Take their talent, invert it, and you have some idea as to my lack of talent in dance and drumming! Thank you for sharing the video, Diana.


  1. willowdot21 says:

    We never like to dance to the beat of someone else’s drum!!

    • russtowne says:

      I know that I sure don’t. To me, it is largely about attitude. I will do all kinds of ethical and legal things if each action moves me closer to following my passion. Studying for the state exam and taking it so I could become an investment manager many years ago fell into that category for me. I was doing what I wanted to do during that time (which was jumping through the state’s hoops) so that I could follow my passion professionally afterwards. If I didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t have. Thank you for your comment, Willow.

  2. billgncs says:

    that statement condemns many to failures when they are just doing the best they can with what they have.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Bill. Your comment inspired me to stop and think. I believe that one can choose to be happy and feel successful in almost any situation. A janitor who cheerfully takes pride in his or her work while putting children through college is just one of many examples I can quickly think of. If doing the best they can with what they have is what they want to do, then I don’t believe that makes them a failure. Quite the contrary.

      A friend who was in India for three years often saw a whole family breaking up rocks into pebbles to make money. He said he was surprised at how happy they all looked. It is one thing for someone to consider themselves a failure, but quite another for others to label them as such simply because they are doing the best they can with what they have. I’m not suggesting that you are doing that, by the way.

      I wonder if the feeling of failure most often comes up when someone knows inside that they haven’t done the best they can with what they have? In such situations, that could apply to many people at all income levels from paupers to billionaires.

      Please know that I have a lot of respect for you Bill, and am not suggesting that you judge or believe others to be failures who are doing the best they can with what they have.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely agree Russ… been feeling this a lot lately. I now have the key to unlock the chains I have bound myself with… now I just need the courage to live without those chains 🙂

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your comment. I was in a similar situation a while back. For me it felt increasingly like being trapped in a small airtight box. I didn’t know what would happen if I escaped from it, but the more I felt like I was suffocating, the more desperate I became to break out. So, while it did take courage too, desperation was a powerful motivator. May you use your key and find the wondrous freedom I found on the other side of the lock.


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