In the third part of the series, I will write about how are successes and failures connected to life.
Life is about much more than just successes and failures. When we focus solely on successes or failures we’re really missing so much on life. Success and failure are two sides of one coin. When we think in terms of success we are hopeful (I hope I will win.) and when we think in terms of failure we are fearful (I fear I will fail.) It’s no surprise we think solely in those two terms. Our whole society has been set up in a way for an individual to focus exclusively on that. We win or lose a competition, we pass or fail a class, we get a positive or a negative grade on the test, we impress or disappoint someone who judges us, etc.
I am not saying we have to stop being successful in order to enjoy life or be happy. I am only saying we have to give up the hope for success and the fear of failure. We have to give ourselves wholeheartedly to any activity we are currently doing without the hope of success or fear of failure. Between our successes and failures lies the journey and in that journey lies the enjoyment. Enjoyment of someone who is experiencing life and contributing his unique qualities to those experiences. Only when we go beyond the fear of failure and hope of success we can stop living in constant anxiety and begin living with full enjoyment.
Many ask themselves: “Can I be successful if I choose this or that path? Can I make it?” With that kind of thinking, we can never be truly successful because we are approaching life from the future, not from the present where we are now. We cannot know what the future will bring, we cannot know how the world will change, and we cannot know how we will change. So when we think about the future rather than feel the present we are already starting from an unrealistic standpoint.
We cannot know for certain how the path will turn out before we start treading it because we don’t know what challenges we will have to face and what lessons we will need to learn in order to move forward. And that is what makes it so exciting. Would you be interested in watching a movie you’ve already watched before? Perhaps. But it’s never again as interesting as the very first time you are watching it.
A very difficult truth for many people to comprehend is: “Even if nothing happens according to my expectations my life can still be alright.” When we deeply understand that fact, we begin having a totally different attitude towards our involvement in everything that we do. We also become much less affected by the passing ups and downs that are a natural part of life. We switch from asking: “What can I get out of this?” to “How can I express myself?” Our activities and relationships stop becoming means to an end and start becoming opportunities for expressing our creativity and uniqueness.