Success and failure are the same? How could that be? Let’s explore:
Failure and Success are polarities that depend on one another for survival — of course we couldn’t feel the feelings of “failure” had we not ever experienced feeling “success”, and vice versa. Both of these things also depend on queues from others; I like to imagine a scenario in which I’m (for whatever reason) the last remaining human being on earth 🌏. As the last human on earth, what sort of successes would I yearn for (maybe just survival-esque or spiritual successes)? What sort of failures could bring me down (that wouldn’t be based on desiring social approval any longer)?
So, then, it is worth pondering with an open heart: how is my ego driving my behavior and feelings of success and feelings of being a failure? From what source do those feelings arise?
It’s easy to see how in moments that we are elated about succeeding that that very success was dependent on the possibility of failure. So, then, success and failure are two sides of a coin. In moments we’ve felt like failures it’s also easy to notice these things: our feelings of being a failure are often derived from social queues (not living up to the societal definition of success) or from feelings of deep unworthiness.
Also (consider this) if our “failures” lead to “successes”, were they ever truly failures? If our “successes” lead to “failures”, were they ever truly successes?
What’s also in need of examination is the very drive that often propels us to want to succeed: the feeling of being unworthy and needing to prove our worth. What I’m saying is a bit radical, but investigate this for yourself with an open heart 👉🏻 Many of us feel, at our core, incredibly insecure about who we are; we feel unworthy, uncool, unloved, unsure, and unsteady. These feelings manifest as the insatiable desire to be constantly achieving, succeeding, or wanting to be better-than. When we ride this wave of achievement, we’re likely to be stuck on an unsteady surfboard experiencing the the rise and fall of that which is unable to be maintained forever.
If it were comfortable (deeply and truly comfortable) to be in this sort of position, constantly hungry to achieve, we’d look around us and see a lot more smiling, content faces. Instead what I see is a society plagued by anxiety, depression, stress, and illness, all of which derive, in part, from the overall pressure to “be somebody”. Most of us are exhausted by this quest — what does that tell you? Possibly (quite possibly) all of this strife and strain is contrary to our being. Is it possible to ride the wave, cool and calm, and let life carry you? If we stop being constantly hungry for more, would we actually be granted more than we’ve ever dreamed possible? 🙏🏻
Let’s examine this: in aching to be a success, are we really just aching to feel at peace with who we are? That won’t be found in aiming for success — that peace is available right here, right now, with absolutely no requirement necessary.
Now, is there anything inherently wrong with desiring to succeed? Of course not! However, the feelings of inadequacy that often drive this quest so often make us suffer instead of bring us a deep feeling of contentment. Also, when have any of us ever achieved something we’ve longed for and then finally been granted with a long-lasting, unwavering, unmoving sense of peace? Hunger, as it goes, really only leads to more hunger.
Begin now. Examine the origin of your drive to achieve and succeed. Does it derive from a deep feeling of completion, or a deep feeling of not being enough or not being worthy?
We don’t need to prove ourselves. We’re already worthy, complete, and whole! Quite possibly, as Alan Watts had put it, the whole point of this life is just to be alive. When deep peace is felt, nothing is a success or failure any longer — all is wide open and free. That, my friends, is what you’re after. ✨