"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."
The things I'm proudest of in my life: moving to a completely unknown city all on my own--San Francisco--and getting my graduate degree; getting 7 poems published (without knowing anyone at any of the magazines); creating my Joan Crawford website from scratch; daring to move to New York City all on my own in an attempt to better myself career-wise (and culturally and personally).
The failure of the latter, and the aftermath, was psychologically horrifying to me. I'd wanted success there SO much, especially after how beautiful and interesting and exciting I found the environs. I came home to an utter psychological Wasteland. (Thanks to Austin, the city, for being gentle with me.)
I came across the Einstein quote by accident, but it made me think: There are no people in my life that have been sources of emotional support and happiness. The opposite has been true. I feel that I've accomplished things DESPITE people that I've loved, not BECAUSE OF them. Sad but true. I'd been feeling down about that fact for all of my adult life until I read the Einstein quote. While suffering emotionally, I've also, in the "everyday" meantime, been actually living by that Einstein philosophy without realizing it.
Had it been up to the EMOTIONAL support of people in my life that I've loved, I'd be a drug-addled hooker right now.
Thank god for goals. And for the low-level academic attention from teachers I got in grade/high-school that I remember to this day.
No college professor ever encouraged me to be/do anything more, even when I was writing very good stuff. The male profs were more interested in dates; the women profs, in their own stuff. I was naive: I thought there were intellectual mentors galore awaiting me in college! :)