Success — an unholy obsession. The world is filled with beings who would destroy everything in the name of achievement. Their bodies and souls, the environment which harbours them, and even the love which ultimately fuels them.
We are taught to sacrifice everything in the name of success. That our very own value and self-worth, as human beings, only goes so far as a list of titles and achievements or a number of zeroes on an account balance.
Success is a tool used in social positioning — an aggrandizer of ego. What reason is there to pursue it other than the sense of power and belonging it brings within the bounds of society?
If the version of success we seem to worship in modern and materialistic societies seems to have rather toxic undertones, there is a different kind of success which instead harbours all the beauty and naturalness of life in its very essence.
Alienation from Being
If I am to look at the underlying and foundational qualities of what our modern social fabric might qualify as success, I see only a deep and profound detachment. It is detachment from here. It is dissociation from now. It is alienation from being.
A life that is anchored on the pursuit of success is a life to be lived in an imaginary world. We are to set out on the road of life — a path of mysteries, untraced and unknown — with a pre-set idea of where we ought to end up. That goal, that place we have chosen to end up — lest we see ourselves as the failures that we are — is and will remain but an idea.
It should be no surprise, then, that the terms of success which we define in society are naught more than ideas themselves. Money, wealth, power, and status — what sort of fool chose to position these under the realm of success?
If I should wish for money, then all else becomes secondary. If I should desire wealth, then away might go my health. If it is power I seek, then where will I stop in destroying the world — this very world which harbours me — all for the hope of a better me? As for status, be it through titles or respect — what sort of value might this truly have when I find myself alone, ill, afraid and dying.
If success should be goal, then that goal should be achievable. Yet what goal might life lead to other than our very simple deaths?
Now, the Eternal Reality
Success defined as a goal — and whatever life we may build around it — is but figments of fantasy. It is merely ointment on the wounds of an inadequate soul. It is avoidance of the very thought which leads me to believe that I — as I simply am — am neither adequate nor worthy of being. I shall spend my whole life in proving, to my own detached self as well as others, that I am worthy of living. And perhaps finally, just before I die, this worth will enable me to welcome fate with open arms and a peaceful heart.
Yet tomorrow never comes. Goals are never fulfilled. Any and all aspects of life which we would rather push into the future will forever remain in the future.
Now is all there is. Now is all that ever was. Now is all that ever will be. Now is now, and tomorrow will still be now. If I am to push meaning and fulfillment to tomorrow — in the form of goals and achievements — then I am pushing away that which only has value when embraced in the here and now.
We are made to pursue carrots of fulfillment on the sticks on hopes. Should we manage to trick the system into grabbing the carrot — a reality which occasionally happens — then another carrot, and this time with a longer stick, will simply materialize.
A Recipe for Success, Here and Now
A life based on goals, with value placed in achievement, will always seek for more value and more achievement. Sustenance and satisfaction may only be embraced in the now.
The ultimate and overarching guide to success is, therefore, a set of three simple rules:
Step 1: Begin
Step 2: Continue
Step 3: Rinse and repeat
True and meaningful success is to be embodied in the process itself — not in its end. Achievement is not to be found in a future step, but in the very step I am making in this present moment.
I set out with intentions rather than goals. Goals have a rather fixed quality in their foundation — how could I know where I will end up when I have never truly been there?
Intentions have resounding flexibility to their essence. They live and exist only in the present. They come attached to the step I am making now, but open themselves to be re-evaluated as I am making that step.
Your Life Is Yours
Success is to be found in every moment and at every step of the way. Even failure has an essence of success, for the learnings it provides in facilitating further steps.
Forget about success being attached to goals. Forget about success being attached to value. True and meaningful success is to be found in the magic of being. It is the offspring of the freedom I grant myself in deciding where I will be taking the next step in this life of mine.
Yes, this life is mine — and what is this life but a series of steps? What is this life but a constant success?
Anchor yourself, my love. Build yourself a chain — the great indestructible chain of life. Anchor your chain in this reality, in this present moment.
I am successful, for no other reason than the fact that I am here.
I am successful in this present moment, and shall still be successful in the next moment — through the eternity of now.