Obsessed with success
Life is a quest. A quest for success.
Life is a quest. A quest for success. A quest to be the very best version of yourself that you can be. To strive and become good at your trade, to earn money, respect and recognition. To be accomplished, an expert in your field. And ultimately, to earn lots of money, feel secure and happy.
Life is a quest. A quest for success. Because anything less is a failure. Anything less means you are not good enough, lazy, lacking. Means you aren’t liked or respected. Means you lack significance and your life lacks meaning. If you’re not successful you’ll be poor, unhappy and insecure.
If we promote the first paragraph, we also promote the second. Through making success the most important thing, we are suggesting that to be anything less than your best, would be to fail. And that failure is unacceptable. How does that feel, as a way to live your life? Does pursuing success still feel like the path to happiness? Or does it feel like a lifetime of tension, having the jaws of failure snapping at your heels? Of constantly having to work harder, be better, excel, just to have self-acceptance.
I’d like to table the notion that success is not the be all and end all.
Not wishing to take anything away from anybody who has worked hard, achieved, excelled and so forth. If that’s what you’ve done, that’s great. If you have done it, you’ll already know that it’s not the path to lasting peace and happiness. It can’t possibly come from there, because there is no end point to the pursuit of success. Each individual ‘success’ will come with the temporary relief and happiness of not seeking and feeling the absence of whatever you were trying to achieve. But after the dust has settled, the attention goes back to comparison, to lack, to a need to be better, to be good enough. Lasting happiness simply can’t be found there.
Instead of striving and excelling to find happiness, how about looking at life in a different way. How about exploring the understanding that ‘who you are’ does not need to be successful to be whole, perfect and happy. You already are, you’ve just been looking in the wrong direction. With this different understanding, of who we really are – our true selves, we are free. There is no such thing as failure. Only the unfolding of experience. That unfolding may still see us pursuing careers, education, sporting prowess and so forth. But we aren’t doing it to get anywhere, or to avoid anything. We are doing it for the love of it. We have nothing to lose and nothing to gain, we can just act from love.
Imagine, if all your actions were for the love of it – work/sport/education becomes a beautiful expression of your true nature. Let’s look there.
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