Show of Success

There are no inherent risks or costs involved with success. Success does not necessitate strain or practiced-improvement. Success is purely about applying our abilities in an interesting way.

A four-year-old feels successful when he pours his own drink, filling a cup he retrieved from the counter with some milk he hefted from the refrigerator. One way or another he would get his cup of milk, there was no real risk involved and he paid no price monetarily nor effort-wise. He didn’t require practice, his growth and naturally increasing motor-skills made the work effortless.

Eventually, such a task becomes meaningless and old-hat. He’s no longer eagerly observing the application of his abilities — pouring milk goes on auto-pilot. So once we lose interest in an activity, we must set a new goal that will use our abilities in a captivating way — or try to do the old things in a more interesting way.

For example, I don’t struggle to write, I just write about what interests me at the moment. I don’t study writing, the words just appear in my mind as I type them out. There are no penalties if I don’t write, nor are there other things I’d rather be doing with my time. Writing for me is effortless and free, yet I feel successful doing it. It satisfies a lack that persisted before I began performing it on a regular basis.

And all I’m doing is applying an existing ability in an amusing way. But doesn’t success imply financial gain? The four-year-old in the above example will unlikely experience any financial gain from his achievements for many years to come. Success is not about money or self-sufficiency or anything of practical concern — it’s about using our abilities to entertain ourselves.

In other words, success is a show that keeps our consciousness from getting bored. We feel accomplished when we use our body and mind in ways that enthrall us. This is why we can’t be handed success, it’s not an end but a continuous flow of intriguing activities. Success is playing the part of “you” while employing your particular characteristics — and enjoying the process.

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