My friend, success is another natural state of living experienced by all beings as they move toward their Purposehood. The everyday life of a fish is filled with happiness, success, and fulfillment, evident in its survival, reproduction, and playing its role in the ecosystem. This is how creatures with no directional choice live their Purposehood, evolving and expanding exponentially. Human newborns also experience success in their everyday life as they grow into directional awareness. In the pursuit of acquiring new skills and information, young children experience failure as the other face of success. Isn’t failure a success in narrowing the path to a desired outcome? Isn’t it an expansion of information acquired about what works and what doesn’t?
As we grow older, we become contaminated by misconceptions about success when we define it as achieving goals, winning competitions, or a life of either selfish or altruistic pursuits. It’s true that goals are essential for us to measure progress and set expectations, but in a world of causality where causes beyond our control impact outcomes and where immediate outcomes are merely causes in chains of universal outcomes over the long run, identifying success as achieving a defined goal is an invitation to a sense of failure sooner or later.
Aren’t we reminded of this simple truth every time we hear a story about a famous achiever who was doomed by their ill-defined success? Can you think of times in your own life when goals you achieved led to undesirable consequences?
When we define success as winning, we turn life into a constant competition with others where most people are losers. How tiring is the life of a constant marathon where one person is the winner of the gold medal and everyone else is a loser?
When success is defined as a single-focused pursuit of a selfish desire, like seeking power, or an altruistic desire, like promoting a dogma, then our awareness shrinks to that pursuit, and with it, all our extensions of being. How many people cause pain to their family, friends, coworkers, and nature in the pursuit of money and power? Aren’t most dangerous extremists focused on altruistic pursuits?
The Nature of Success
Success is a fundamental desire that must be easy to acquire and feel in everyday life. When you live with the limiting belief that success is at the end of a journey, or as a result of it, you postpone your feeling of that achievement until the end of the process. But when you understand that success is actually the process itself and not the end goal, then every step you take forward in your journey becomes a source of it.
If you start high school defining success as graduating from college, you will spend many years of your life waiting for that. And if life presents you with other opportunities or forces you onto a path that doesn’t end with a college degree, then you are left feeling like a failure. But when you believe that success is daily growth in the school of life, then every day is an opportunity to be successful.
Excerpt from the book “Purposehood: Transform Your Life, Transform the World” page 139