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I have a Christmas cactus that doesn’t seem concerned about the rules. It never blooms anywhere near Christmas. I woke up one day recently and noticed that there was an incipient bloom leaning against and propped up by one of the longer branches of the plant. There was no place for it to go as it was connected to a three-sectioned stem close to the dirt that fills the pot. (I’m hoping a picture will clarify this unhelpful description.) I had no expectation that this flower would be able to bloom as it was not free to bow and unfold in space. I pictured it as a stillborn child that would die as it lived – tightly closed in upon itself. (Those of you who are familiar with Christmas cactus know that their flowers usually bounce at the ends of each branch in increasing beauty during their lifespan.)

This morning as I was seeking help from Meg Wheatley in her book, Perseverance, I looked up and saw the first unfolding of my sweet flower! I was reading about success at the time and had just stopped to consider the following thought: “Can you accept as a measure of success that you kept showing up, day after day, even when you weren’t feeling helpful or effective?”

I don’t know what tomorrow will be like for me or the flower but I do know that, for today, her measure of success has motivated me to show up and do my best in whatever comes my way.