Concerning the man of success:

No one will ask him what it cost to produce his success because anyone who’s work is sourced in love fills their creation with such intensity that it cannot be perceived by the eyes. Success, when it comes seems the most natural thing in the world. But what is success? This is one of the most desperate questions of our time, because it is so closely woven into our purpose. Our success is measured in comparison with our surroundings. It is much too often exclusively relative to the creed of our culture, religion, or constitution.

But who makes the laws? Is it our founding fathers? Is it our current policy makers? Or is it the prophets in the bible, God, science, our parents, or our school teachers? There really is no answer, for such a request is intangible and is merely a law of nature and therefore a law of life. There should be no regulation on what defines a virtue. In an optimistic sense, it should be expected that man is inherently good, and contains the power to make this world free and beautiful with his compassion and love for his fellow humanity. But we don’t live in a utopia. In the circles of “good” we have orthodox brethren that express wisdom in vain, that see fit their duty to recruit all lost and vulnerable souls to assume their righteous decree. People are always fighting for their cause, much how nations fight great wars. Too many resources are consumed by inflated egos, power structures, imperialistic indoctrination, or hegemonic viewpoints. We shouldn’t need an infrastructure to enforce such things as hope, kindness, and love; these are fundamental human attributes that transcend the barriers of moral relativism. Let us ask ourselves what it is that we are aspiring to achieve.

If people spent as much time worrying about how to make a difference as they do about how they could make money they would soon find themselves rich beyond belief. Success comes to those who do not waste time comparing what they are doing with what others are doing; it enters the house of the person who says “I will do my best every day”.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T Washington

It’s not about living a luxurious life where the clothes we wear or the cars we drive send subliminal messages such as “I am affluent, and I have power”. It shouldn’t be about running around to meetings and missing your son’s hockey game. It’s not about treating service workers with disrespect — a trait I’ve found consistent across a particular type of material successful people. Maybe instead of manipulating money in corporate greed it should be about creating something useful, something where everyone could benefit. You could leave after an honest day’s work to attend your daughter’s piano recital with a sense of pride and dignity.

Success should not be anywhere close to vanity. Success in a financial sense should be more along the lines of philanthropy or giving someone else a chance to feed their family. It shouldn’t be about replacing human jobs with technology to increase efficiency. Success is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace. Real success is enriching your life, not cramming your pockets with gold. People who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end but a consequence.

We want to seek greatness. Maybe our idea of greatness is far off the mark of what society has defined it as.  Jack Kerouac said, “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” Maybe greatness is creating a just, sustainable world for our future generations.

It is a rough road that leads to the lofts of greatness, not the paved road. Let go of the arrogant and egotistical configuration where a beachside mansion and titles such as Dr., Phd, and CEO, are the primers of success. Let us work hard and use our resources to create useful things that will invite our inheritors to enjoy the world we leave behind. Let us stop pouring concrete and plant more flowers. Let us stop creating shortcuts in life. Through trial and tribulation we can learn lessons about the world. Let us not envy those whose material lives have more luster, because “a tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot”-Proverbs 14:30. And the glamorous path we seek will lead us into tranquility, because someday we will look around and see that the lessons we left were not lessons of self-fulfillment but lessons of love, because love fulfills ourselves as well as the world around around us..

If we could spread this word, and one by one, each person devoted their lives to these values, then imagine how magnificent this world would be. Now that would be something we could hang our hats on.


13 thoughts on “Success

  1. Unsucess give peace and serenity to “those who do not waste time comparing what they are doing with what others are doing”! All “likes” on your blog are making “your bones rot”. Be careful just “give lesson of love” is not enough. It makes others liking you more and more, it’s a pervers effect of love, it’s jsut the opposite of peace and serenity.
    But you know, it’s just the opinion of a very unsucess french budhist monk who comes on your blog to understand why you are so lucky with success !

  2. This is such a big topic, Aaron! But I like your approach. I particularly agree with your plea for people to themselves to their values. So many people wander through life not even understanding what their values are. Reflection is essential to come to this great understanding. I also think that success – true, personal success – can only be found inside ourselves and, as you suggest, not in accordance with external measures such as titles etc. At the end of the day we must be satisfied with our own goals, our efforts to achieve them and how we have interacted with others along the path. If we do those things well, then I think we might just leave the world a slightly better place. Please keep stimulating us with your thoughts, Aaron!

  3. The post subject is a big one and your post covers many aspects of what success is.
    I think its difficult to obtain a definite description of success as every individual has a different definition or a combination of them (as I have).

    Some definitions I’ve heard :-
    It’s accepting the Grace and Salvation of God and being saved.
    The ability to make lots of money.
    The ability to live debt free.
    Rising to the top of the ‘perceived’ career ladder.
    Living as free and uncomplicated as possible (not burdened by desiring the so-called necessities or luxuries of life).
    Maintaining optimum health and fitness.
    Having a great love life.
    Having a family.
    Not looking at their job as work but doing something they believe they were born to do and being paid for it.
    Maintaining a loving long marriage.
    Being able to do charitable work helping those in need.
    Running a business making loads of profit.
    Keeping a business going with very little assistance or additional financial help.

  4. This is something that’s recently come up for me not feeling along my career path as I should be. I’ve changed focus towards the arts my first love. A hard transition, yet the only one. The wonderful thing is my children see it as the only way. They are telling to follow my heart. How is it that I could have taught my children the meaning of success and struggle to find it for myself?
    Thank you for the post!

  5. Great post! Written with pervasive but humble insight…

    “Success comes to those who do not waste time comparing what they are doing with what others are doing; it enters the house of the person who says “I will do my best every day”.

    And this following quote is so meaningful as I have been pondering today what insurmountable obstacles I had to overcome to make up to now:

    “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

    Success is not an end but a consequence…”



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