Being successful

The other day I purchased a bed linen. The Company selling it had an unusual ad: “It is said that Webster’s first dictionary in 1806 defined success as being “generous, prosperous and kind” Regrettably, the most recent published definition of success is “getting or achieving wealth, respect and fame.” We do business based on the 1806 definition.”

Observe how the meaning of words change in time. 200 years later, that same word means something completely different, thus a definition will change in “no time” in time. 🙂

Take the word “god” for example. Isn’t the definition of that word different among people? Who has the “right” definition? 

“I.” 🙂

The word “success” is a human invention. Our society has bought into it. To be successful is the objective, the thing to attain; although it is not clear what it means.
How wealthy is wealthy? How famous is fame? Isn’t respect nowadays another word for inspiring fear? Who is the authority to define what something is?
The guy down the street wants “respect,” and he earns it through his ability to inspire fear into his neighbors.

Being “generous, prosperous and kind” is not a corporate attitude or behavior towards business. We cannot make ourselves generous or kind through a corporate mission statement. We ARE or we ARE not. If we behave as if we were kind, generous, etc. from 8 Am to 5 PM, Monday through Friday… We ARE fake.

Words meaning absolutely nothing. Pretty, touchy words, no feelings. All mind, no heart.

That is the same scenario when most talk about love and loving someone. There is the blurb, the political correct phrases, the catchy words, but nothing else.
Love is not something to talk about. Words destroy the sacredness of the moment, the relationship, what it could be… the feeling.

Therefore, “Being successful,” means anything that you desire.
Achieving that, means very little unless there is an agreement that it is worth something.
For mice, to be “successful” could be to get cheese from a human refrigerator. But mice are “intelligent” enough not to worry about success.

Being successful is taken to extremes in our society. For instance:
What is so important about a football game or a “world cup” soccer game?
Nothing…. It is just a game. But yet there is a common agreement that this game could be in fact a “historic moment.” Everyone is watching it. It is transcendent… It is team A versus team B. The “World champ” (yet another pretty word meaning nothing) will victoriously emerge from that “duel of nemesis…”
That is the human world of fantasy. Something to pass time with, to keep the mind entertained until death arrives… Then success is over; then there is only “losing the battle” against cancer, drunk drivers, medical doctors,  and all excuses death may use to “take us away from our loved ones.” 🙂
All the winning, all the success gets taken away by Death; then under that cloudy perspective; we become automatic “losers.” We believe that… unless there is an “afterlife,” then the “I” could be “successful” there… 

As our minds step away from words, the meaning of living Life in the innocence of an empty mind, will replace the meaning of the words.

Every Life story from the “lowly” untouchable mosquito to the immortal Sam the true “man,” is neither a success nor a failure.
In Life no one could be a success nor a failure but only in the “fantasy island” of the conditioned human mind, that is the mind full of duality.
Remember: What someone says it is not accurately what they mean or feel. It cannot be.
Beware of words.

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4 comments

  1. Ramesh Ramakrishnan

    Always a treat to read your posts- just a quick one- If you can share your experience of how you have remained conscious and aware in some of the actions without the effect of the pendulum of the mind swinging into extremes- will be useful to read

    • ahnanda

      The mind will swing to the extremes. That is what the mind does. If you identify with the mind, then you will go to the extremes believing to have “obtained” something. For example: You are a person that indulges in all sort of pleasures. Then you hear a “saint” telling you that a life of restrictions will make you like him. You may want to be like him, because you think that he is at peace, a saint. Therefore, your lifestyle of pleasure will change to the opposite. You will be a renunciate. Some people may call that a miracle, but it is just the work of the mind.
      Whether you realize that you have gone to the extremes or not, whatever the experience, it will have an effect on you. It is “good” for it will promote change. Life is change.
      If you are aware, you may go through the experience but you will know that the pendulum is moving. That realization liberates you from believing that an experience in the “extreme” is the “true” experience. Then, you are open, untouched by the works of the mind… Of course, if there is “no-mind,” then the above is not for you.
      Best wishes!

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