Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who Feels Successful?



A person once asked me what it feels like to be successful.


I didn't know how to respond because I don't regard myself as a success. A scrambler, yes. A striver, certainly. A success? I'm not so sure about that.


The more I learn about various subjects, the more I'm humbled by the vast amount of material I haven't even studied, much less mastered. Others may see what has been done while I see all that remains undone.


There is another aspect to this feeling: the sense that to declare oneself a success is a bit smug. Smugness can be the prelude to decline. Many a dunce is a self-proclaimed genius.


This doesn't mean that the achievement of various goals cannot be appreciated. That is not only wise but necessary if the demoralization of the treadmill is to be squelched. Watching the clouds, having a good cup of coffee, and quietly reviewing how something was achieved can be as good as it gets.


There is another crucial point and I draw it from the Army's three elements of leadership:


Be - Know - Do.


Too often, society defines success in the realm of "Do" instead of "Be." In assessing our own progress, we need to avoid that trap and recognize that making progress both in Being and Doing is important. Our internal advances may well outweigh any external ones.


There is much wisdom in the old line that "He who conquers himself is greater than he who takes a city."

4 Comments:

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Eclecticity said...

OFTB.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger supercynic said...

"The more I learn about various subjects, the more I'm humbled by the vast amount of material I haven't even studied, much less mastered. Others may see what has been done while I see all that remains undone."

Somehow you managed to get inside my head and put my exact thoughts down in the written word. I couldn't agree more.

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger Michael Wade said...

Eclecticity,

Thanks much!

Supercynic,

I think we are not alone in such feelings. Those thoughts, however, may ultimately be a strength.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Alonso Sarmiento said...

Like everything in the life, successful being is relative, following several situations like the cultural surroundings, the historical stage in which lives or has lived, the age of the individual, its beliefs ethical morals and, its ambitions or projects, as well as the form in which the others assess these situations. Perhaps that one could be considered successful Who did not refuse to live. That is to say, that one that took advantage of every moment and each resource that gave the life mainly him and, lived.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home