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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

True Success

The term "success" is frequently used to describe the desired outcomes upon the completion of tasks or endeavours. For the purpose of this discussion, "success" refers to that which is better described as "success in life". This success may be derived from several "successfully" completed tasks or endeavours, but it is more overarching. 

The idea of success is also used in relation to life in general. Sadly, it is often wrongly focused on amassed wealth as the measure. Is "success in life" to be measured only according to accrued wealth or even according to that at all? Wealth can be fickle. Read this story: "Millionaire who spent 17 years battling divorce 'facing homelessness with just £5 left in bank" Similar stories of quickly-depleted wealth abound. It only takes one market crash at times.

Let's suppose that only the wealthy could afford to stock up food and survive a major catastrophe that affected the world's food supply, would this be success? What would most likely happen to such success? 
Successful people are satisfied but not independently so since we (humans) are social beings. True satisfaction is attended by contentment and peaceful co-existence with other people. Under these definitions, I am yet to see a satisfied wealthy person. Hence I am yet to see a truly successful wealthy person.
Wealth provides a measure of comfort. However, true comfort is attended by a peacefulness that involves good health, no rush, no stress, no fear of losing wealth, etc. I am yet to see a truly satisfied and comfortable wealthy person. Incidentally, good health, one of the marks of true peacefulness is somewhat jeopardized by what is typically involved in acquiring great wealth (the lack of contentment, the rush, the stress, enslavement or oppression of the less fortunate, etc.), and what is involved after great wealth is accumulated (the fear of losing wealth, the stress of keeping thieves out, etc.).
Wealthy people appear to have it all but are they successful according to these definitions? The “poor” admire "the wealthy". They (the “poor”) loath their “poverty” and strive for more wealth and/or fame. They may achieve wealth and fame and end up in the same place as the “wealthy” whom they had erstwhile admired. They end up in a place where true success with complete satisfaction and the attending peacefulness is equally elusive. Anyone who only seeks after the accumulation of wealth to the exclusion of that which produces true peacefulness ends up here - the place of elusive satisfaction and peacefulness. All selfishly wealthy and greedy people end up in a place of true and intimate poverty even with great wealth accumulated.

"Extra-ordinary people are not driven by the anticipation of wealth, fame or power as ordinary people." 
                                                              Commonsense Update 64
What do you think is the cause of antagonism and wars that expose the true poverty of humanity? What do you think robs people and societies of true success? Individual success has been taken to absurd extremes that the vision of societal success is completely obscured from popular thinking. Where does one begin in exposing this travesty of virtual reality success? Should one begin with the financial sector that shifts virtual wealth (i.e. wealth on paper) from place to place or person to person? Is it the information gathering and exchange sector that has produced countless billionaires through big data management? Is it the sports and entertainment sectors that thrill us to the point of losing touch with the realities all around? Some good does come from all of these which is part of the decoy. One day we will wake up and realize that we may have gone too far in the pursuit of the virtual success sectors to the neglect of sectors that actually produce the essentials for our existence. In spite of all the individual “success” in the accrual of wealth from engaging in the numerous virtual reality sectors, we may discover too late that we have failed woefully in the real human survival sector. We may find that fleeting “success” has done us in when we have all the money in the world but no safe food to buy. We may learn our lesson too late when the bite of depleted renewable resources gets increasingly painful. Present laughter because of our fleeting success will turn to wailing. We can only hope that this is not the case but not without becoming reflective and realistic in our thinking about success. We must re-define success and engage in meaningful endeavors towards achieving real success - the true success in life.

"Death occurs wherever the pocketbook takes the place of the heart."  Commonsense Update 73

From a less money-minded point of view, one may say that success is measured according to the number and level of accomplishments or achievements. Some people may even say that attained good reputation (e.g. through altruistic or philanthropic involvements) is success. These are incorrect assumptions. Considering that a successful person is satisfied and true satisfaction is attended by contentment and peaceful co-existence with other people, a person's achievements, accomplishments, good reputation etc., only serve as means to attaining success.
All that we have considered: Wealth, accomplishments, fame, great reputation, etc. are frequently and broadly but incorrectly counted as success in life. True success in life is more of the reality experienced with or without these usual characterizations of success. As we have seen, great wealth and the other usual characterizations can even become hindrances to true success. Baskets full of accomplishment trophies and bags of money have the potential and tendency of becoming overburdening in some form or another. This can prevent the peacefulness that attends true success.

In every person’s life, true success is on a different plain than all of these characterizations. A more accurate view of true success is similar to the accurate view of happiness or joy. A person may have accumulated wealth, gathered accomplishment trophies, broadened his or her scope of good reputation and still be eluded by true success, happiness or joy. According to the more accurate definition of true success, the satisfaction and peaceful contentment and co-existence that attends true success can be attained at all levels of economic status, achievements or accomplishments. One simply needs to know where and how to seek this success.

Do you ever wonder why "successful" people continue to strive? Could it be that they are still seeking true success?
Posted by Felix Amiri

Felix Amiri is currently the chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection, and a sworn SSQA advocate. 

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