This month, our focus is on success.
Our word success is defined as a happy issue; a favourable or prosperous termination of anything we attempt; When I say “I succeeded” it means a termination. An End. But it doesn’t satisfy the appetite so much that I would not create a new ambition for success.
I built a business, sold it and then another. What my definition of success was when I started the first business, was satisfied when I sold it. But, by satisfying one definition, I bred two more. Now I wanted success plus a family that was functional. My definition of success originally had been at any cost. Now, after the cost of the first success, I didn’t want that cost for the second. And so it goes. We so easily build ourselves into a prison of our own making.
Nobody likes to get hurt. And then we start to build the prison. We want the success without the hurt. Which is somewhat impossible. So, the first question that must be asked of ourselves is “what are we willing to pay for success?” If the answer is very little, we join the ranks of “big company employees and or retirees.”
Success for most means to be truly prosperous. It’s why we all like the definition of life as the seven areas of life and the idea that success can preserve all seven while achieving big outcomes in each. It is the “NO PAIN” or “NO COST” model of life success.
The outcomes of success must be favourable to the individual who succeeds. Apparent success is therefore favourable to others but not to the individual. It’s the equivalent to flipping the success model on its head and saying “as long as my family doesn’t suffer, I will go for success in my work life”
The question will become “does that model work?
AND the Answer is “It depends on the DNA of the individual.
For some, hurting family in the interests of success is an impossible cross to bare. To others, it’s just the price we pay. Take the woman in my workshop who felt that all her life problems came because her father was never home, always working, never giving her attention. This is her view which she has a right to have. But the consequences of such an interpretation are dire. Let’s call her interpretation, her “Story.”
Step back a moment to a Universal Law (can’t be broken) “what we judge, we breed, attract or become. How did this play out for her? Well, firstly, her father was “never” there so she wanted a partner who was always there. She chose men and women to partner with who always started the relationship infatuated with her, clinging, and needy. Of course, in being infatuated, these partners were actually self-obsessing, rather than what she wanted, which was obsessing with her. Boom, the relationships failed.
Step back further. She had children and because Dad was “NEVER” there, she obsessed with being physically and emotionally with her children. She “helicopter parented” and did all she could to make the kid’s lives smooth and happy. The consequence was the children grew to resent her and became obsessed, even at the age of 4 or 5, with independence. Their self-dependency made her feel like she wasn’t being “ALWAYS” with the kids and that made her obsess even more. Her partner left, having felt like a second hand sock in the relationship after the kids were “obsessively” cared for.
Step back further. Because Dad was “NEVER” there she obsessed with working out how to get attention from him or those she de facto substituted for him. Sexuality, doing a good job, taking credit for work, earning money and investing it wisely became more important than healthy as she strove to prove him wrong. For her, success meant “showing him” how he missed out, how she was worthy of his love. His approval became a mantra in spite of the fact that the de facto “DAD’s” were randomly selected. (Not really so random but more subconsciously chosen)
So, you can see, SUCCESS is not a stand alone topic. When we say “I want to be successful” and make it a finite end point, a goal achieved or outcome satisfied we automatically trigger the evolutionary aspect of being human. The questioning of “counter-productive” stories – our beliefs.
As you know, beliefs are the core of our identity. While we hold them fixed, we hold the pathways to success fixed. For example: if violence is bad in your beliefs, you will not be able to use it to achieve success, but if it is good, or at the least acceptable under certain circumstances, it wlll be available for achieving success.
Stories are the result of beliefs. If there is no belief, no fixed definition of right way or wrong way we might be labelled a sociopath, or enlightened. Same mechanics, different results.
Therefore, MUCH ambition for success may be false because it is not favourable to the individual and their stories. This puts us at a crossroads. Surrender the “success ambition” and modify it or “change the story” and deliver a dose of hurt where once we would have deemed it “BAD.”
SHORT TERM SUBSTITUTES FOR SUCCESS – INCIDENTAL SUCCESS…
The crossroads in your life of ambitions leads to a question: whether you will magnify incidental success in your work, life, in order to sustain your current beliefs or evolve your beliefs and undergo an identity crisis, the complete opposite in order to achieve real success of your life.
It is, without doubt the most horrific chapter in anyone’s life and it repeats itself over and over. As the definition of success expands through achieving success, so too does the need to disqualify long held stories, identity. And it’s not so simple to decide which path to follow.
The people you know want you to be successful but they do not want your beliefs, identity or for that matter your stories to change at all. Your family in particular “love you” because of your identity which is based on your beliefs. To test this try changing your religion or career path or even sexual orientation, your identity, (beliefs) and see how they respond.
So, to begin we will separate short term “Incidental” success from permanent. Incidental success is what we use when our identity prevents long term ambitions that require us dealing with and changing, fixed beliefs.
When we push back on evolving, Incidental Success is our only option.
Take the person who gets angry in coaching when their beliefs get questioned (the purpose of coaching). They will describe in ever more finite detail how they are grateful for what they have right now, which is another language for Incidental success. “Oh, I like my job, (incidental success), oh, I love my family (incidental success), oh I got a positive feedback from my boss (incidental success) oh, my house got a capital gain (incidental success), oh, I will be successful as soon as the money arrives (incidental success), oh, I lost 2kg, (incidental success), oh, the kids won an award at school (incidental success which is now being introduced to the kids psychology). Small fish are sweet, and small stepping stones of success are likewise, sweet. BUT WHERE DO THOSE Incidental SUCCESS’ LEAD TO?
“Nothing is success, which does not develop selfhood toward its best”
It is, therefore evident that success, maybe incidental or permanent, and that, in either case, it may be physical, mental, moral, material.
If it is merely incidental, it may be the result of selfishness, self interest or altruism.
Using incidental success one may be successful in building and maintaining physical health, mental power and certifications, moral character, and material usefulness. In any case, incidental success may result, either from selfishness, or from self interest and altruism.
SUCCESS DRIVEN BY SELFISHNESS OR PURELY BENEFIT TO SELF
Success which follows, selfishness is limited by reaction of self upon self. The reaction is inevitable. If the success ambition is for me to be a better me, I am going to be the number one and most observable critic of myself. I am the judge of me needing to be better and success is my process for it, and so I will also be the judge of my progress.
Permanent Success, on the other hand, which follows self interest and altruism combined, builds and manifests what it needs, the reaction of feeling good about the self by wanting to fix or do something outside of the self “PURPOSE AND INTENT” is a Universal law of nature. It is a universal principle.
Can you see the difference?
NOBODY TREATS YOU BETTER OR WORSE THAN YOU TREAT YOURSELF
Success, which follows effort toward self interest is always ultimately altruistic, because one cannot possibly attain best interest of the self, without benefiting, or seeking to benefit, others. It is just simply the nature of things.
And success, which follows efforts for others, invariably results in the best of self interest, because the effort to help others constitute an effort to help the best self. This is also a natural law.
THE MOST NARCISSISTIC THING WE CAN DO IS TO TRY TO CHANGE OTHERS. THE MOST ALTRUISTIC THING WE CAN DO IS TO CHANGE (HOW WE SEE THEM) OURSELVES.
We can now say that incidental success, which is the result of selfishness, is not true success. Good health, mental power, and knowledge, and moral character, sought with indifference to the welfare of others, end invariably in defeat.
The bedrock of human life is mutuality.