Most of the time, we see only what we want to see, or what others tell us to see, instead of really investigate to see what is really there. We embrace illusions only because we are presented with the illusion that they are embraced by the majority. When in truth, they only become popular because they are pounded at us by the media with such an intensity and high level of repetition that its mere force disguises lies and truths. And like obedient schoolchildren, we do not question their validity and swallow everything up like medicine. Why? Because since the earliest days of our youth, we have been conditioned to accept that the direction of the herd, and authority anywhere — is always right.― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
The quote above really got my attention and so, while it is lengthy I put it here for us to consider why we want to succeed. The question came to me from nowhere it seems. Why do you want to succeed? what is your ulterior motive. What is the intrinsic value of our need to be successful in life.
Many persons never stop to ask themselves these questions. We want that promotion, we want the recognition, we want that degree, we want and want and need that thing that will say to others that we are achievers and overachievers. But we never stop to question the authenticity of the wantings. So, if we want a certain type of success, is it because it is a part of our plan or did we see the awards and recognitions being collected by someone and decide that that is what we should be aiming for. Like a careless driver who makes u-turn in a no u-turn area, do we spin around, likely endangering the lives of others, to chase someone else’s dream?
And there are some who want success because they feel future successes will wipe out past failures. So it is not that we necessarily believe in the things we want, but we believe they will vindicate a guilty conscience and make it easier for us to look in the mirror. However, what we may need to do before we move on to embracing the success we desire is to appreciate the role that those failures had in our impending success. Instead of being afraid to fail we should embrace failure as a means to success. If you do not fall how will you get up? We should always know and believe that even in the midst of our success failure is waiting in the wings to enter stage right once more.
Another thought provoking response to this question is this:
when we talk and think success, is it achievement or accomplishment based? If it is to achieve then the goal post for your success will always be measured by an external entity and you may spend your whole life, spent trying to reach an unachievable goal set you. You may find yourself about to achieve that thing you spent so much time on, when suddenly you are told you have to do one more little thing and then that becomes another, eventually with no end in sight. First you need to know that if you do not have the talent to sing well you can’t be a successful singer ( unless you have the money and or right connections, then who knows!). But know your strengths, your weaknesses, what you will be willing to fight to get simply because it matters to you and maybe no on else. Then you can say, I have accomplished what I need to accomplish and will reap the right rewards. Accomplishing comes before achieving.
There is nothing wrong with success but we need to check ourselves when we fervently chase it. Do we do so because it really matters to us or is it, just because?