The illusion of success 🔮

published3 months ago
3 min read

Hey there creator,

Here's a question for you that I've heard business teacher and author Srikumar Rao often ask:

Would you rather get what you want or outgrow your need for it?

So in terms of success, would you rather achieve the success you are after or outgrow the desire?

But wait before you answer, WTF is success?

A metric? 📏

A destination? 🏝

A state of being? 😇

Culturally, we define success as the “good life” in which we seek to attain things and reach goals.

When things work out the way we want them to, life sure is a blast.

Yet right on cue, we’re off to something else and, as a result pushing our “time of arrival” a little further down the line.

When we stumble, fall flat on our faces, or just get handed a mixed bag, life’s a drag and we’re miserable failures.

If success is a metric, what in the bleep measuring system are we using?

If it’s a destination, it might as well be a god damn moving target. 🎯

And if it’s some ultimate state of being, it seems more like a phantom menace. 🎭

If you ask me, success is a spiritual mindfuck. 🤷🏻‍♂️

By its very nature, success dilutes us to think that more of it means more wholeness, happiness, and love which keeps us on the proverbial see-saw of life where we spend way too much time on the bottom end obsessing how we can get back to the top.

Yet we can't stop ourselves from craving it.

12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing
Anne Lamott | TED Talk | 15 minutes

There is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way unless you're waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind.

It's an inside job, and we can't arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers. You can't run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero's journey (see Those Were the Days of Our Lives story below). You have to release them. And if it's someone else's problem, you probably don't have the answer, anyway.

See the video + transcript ➜

The Days are Long but the Decades are Short
Sam Altman | 7 minutes

Life is not a dress rehearsal—this is probably it. Make it count. Time is extremely limited and goes by fast.

Do what makes you happy and fulfilled—few people get remembered hundreds of years after they die anyway. Don’t do stuff that doesn’t make you happy. This happens most often when other people want you to do something. Don’t spend time trying to maintain relationships with people you don’t like, and cut negative people out of your life. Negativity is really bad. Don’t let yourself make excuses for not doing the things you want to do.

Read the post ➜

Those Were the Days of Our Lives: This generation will never know the true freedom — and neglect — of being an ’80s kid.

Danielle Henderson via @ChillWithRon | 8 Minutes

As a kid of the '80s and '90s myself this author's experience of being able to "roam freely" as a kid with no supervision resonated with me and highlights the stark difference to the experience of many kids today.

Here are some nuggets:

  • The hardest thing to convey to the children in my life about my childhood is the concept of unadulterated freedom.
  • As people who have been scheduled and monitored down to the second for most of their lives, they truly cannot conceive of life outside of the panopticon of their own experience.
  • Children were not to be seen nor heard, and we were definitely not supposed to complain about any injuries sustained during the 15 hours a day we roamed the streets.

Read the post ➜

// 100 Days of Publishing :: DAY 75 ✍🏼

A Recipe To Decrease Your Chances of "Success": How Talking About Your Goals Is Counterintuitive.
3 minutes

Popular belief will tell you that publicly declaring your goals boosts the chances of success because it creates accountability and makes you more motivated. Psychological studies actually show the opposite: it demotivates you—producing a false sense of accomplishment in your brain and hence you run the risk of giving up. Dam neurochemistry.

Read the post ➜

Thanks for reading.

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As Always, Keep Creating,


Anthony V. Lombardo
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