It seems in the old days, kids would ride the merry-go-round and try to grab a brass ring. Maybe concerns about potential lawsuits did away with the ring part. If life was a merry-go-round when I was drinking, I could barely stay on the horse, let alone reach out and snag a prize. But I had big dreams . . . “For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over people and circumstances.” (12×12 p.91)” This phrase helped me to identify myself when I arrived at AA. The old dreams of castles in the air have given way to a life more focused on consistency than greatness, more interested in making a difference than earning recognition. When I was out there, I immediately took credit for any “temporary good fortune” that found me. I would broadcast my “success” to anyone who would listen (in the humblest way of course). Everyone likes to be appreciated and I am no exception. But my desire to take a bow before the cheering crowd has vanished. I do not value recognition unless I can really tell myself that I earned it, gave it my very best effort. “Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful and profoundly happy . . . True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep de­sire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.” (12×12 p. 124). When I was drinking I would have fallen off my barstool laughing at that phrase. Today, it is my very creed, tried, true and guaranteed.
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