Day 328: Desiring Success In A Unsuccessful World

Success, a word, that to most is imbued with feelings, hopes, desires, wants, jealousy, competition, greed and secrecy. Most of us, in some way or another strives to be successful. We have defined success as having money, having a nice house, having a fruitful career, having perfect children, a perfect spouse, an interesting life and many friends. We have thus defined the word very much in relation to our external reality, and, very much as a individual point of achievement. It is seldom that success is used in the context of nations, groups of people, collectives, or with the entire world as the recipient. Success, thus, in the modern western world is something we reach alone, that we hold unto, and that becomes our currency in the survival game that we play in the system of money.

I find it interesting that it is so easy to loose oneself in this game of success. Until I began my university studies I was well protected from this game. It is fascinating to look back at how I was back then. My decisions then were in many cases based on what would be suitable and effective for me as a person. For example, when I went into hobbies, or pursued interests, it was most of the times not done from within a starting point of wanting to impress anyone, or to achieve recognition, rather it was something I did for and as myself, because I enjoyed it. However, when I began my university studies, I got to see and get involved with the game of success more closely; a game that is played with what careers we have, how much money we are able to accumulate, who we know, where we live, and where we do not live. It is a game of competing with our achievements, where we try to become better, so that we can feel valuable.

Thus, to some extent, I lost myself in this game, because gradually it became more difficult for me to see what I wanted to do, and what direction that would be the best for me, and that is because, in each and every process of consideration, a fear was intersecting: ‘What if I will not be successful?’. And thus I would gravitate towards certain career paths, and lifestyles, that I knew were considered, by the greater mass, as desirable. However, in this, I lost touch with myself, and with what I saw as a future for myself – or – I became more acutely aware that my life direction was very much determined by the input of others and not so much a self-directed decision as to where I want to go and what I want to do with myself in this lifetime.

Hence, the solution is the redefine success – this word is obviously not limited to having a efficient career, having access to money, and being popular, it is much more. And within this, what should also be looked at is the question as to whether it is possible to lead a successful life, FOR REAL, when the majority of human beings live in conditions of squalor. Is it successful to have a fuck-load of money, and spend that on things that interest us, while people exist in dismay all around us? I would say it is a extremely limited form of successful, and rather a form of narcissism – where we only care about ourselves and cannot give the slightest of fucks about anyone else.

How should success be lived for it to be real? For success to be real, it must be lived in consideration of others, it cannot be this single, desire driven, inner momentum, where we ONLY care about our own achievements, and disregard what consequences that might create in the lives of others. Further, real success cannot be something that is only existent on a personal level, because there is as well, a interpersonal and a existential level to the word success – where we are able to bring through this word into living not only for ourselves, but for the we interact with on a daily basis, and for the world as a whole. Hence, success is a word with great potential, but that has become severely limited, due to how we have defined it in the context of how we FEEL and also created a form of success competition between each-other – instead of understanding that – on a personal level – we all have our individual points of success. For one, success might be to develop a deep and fulfilling intimacy with himself – for another – success might be to push himself to become as an efficient and capable athlete. We cannot label people according to a limited ‘one size fits all’ idea of success – as that will only cause us to compete with one another. Success on a personal level is always unique and that is something we must embrace.

In my next blog I will continue to expand on the word success and find a fitting redefinition.


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