Today, in the West, it seems like so many of us want to be somebody. Furthermore, we want the somebodies we choose to “love” to be somebody too. And as for our kids, well, so many are feeling suicidal under the enormous pressure to be somebody. And when we say somebody, we mean S-O-M-E-B-O-D-Y. Being a regular anybody just won’t do. It seems that more than ever, everybody wants to be one of the biggest, brightest somebody in the Universe.
We admire, bow and worship, and are captivated by outrageous success stories. These days, there is a S-O-M-E-B-O-D-Y to obsess over whatever your ambition.
But I have two questions: Is outrageous success a logical aspiration? And does it deserve to be worshiped?
Really, no one — no one — can predict the kind of other worldly success that flings a person into the stratosphere of: The Few. The Famous (or The Infamous). Or the brightest star you’ve ever seen.
So, it seems so fruitless and so sad to judge ourselves and everybody else as if this kind of success is a possibility for almost everyone. Frankly, outrageous success in any field is actually an unpredictable peculiarity, an irregularity. And its “merit” is in its unpredictability and its rarity.
No one can predict this kind of success. No one.
Yes, beneficiaries of outrageous success may put their hearts and souls and everything into an idea or a cause or the development of some talent. (Some just fall into it.) Whatever. This is essentially just placement — it is not, however, the reason for their success.
Rather, there is a huge element of the stars aligning, the skies parting, and Destiny being awake, paying attention, and touching them, as she simultaneously invokes the imagination of the masses. In other words, there is a huge element of timing and luck.
While hard work may be part of the process of success, it is not the defining factor. We all know that there are certainly more people who work hard and still fail than those who succeed. And then, there are those who toil at nothing or lack talent and are, in spite of themselves, a bright star among us.
The truth is, so many of us do have smashing ideas or great talents or true hearts. Many of us do toil, toil, toil. And we fail anyway to be one of the few flung that get flung into the heavens. Maybe it is us. Maybe the timing is wrong. Maybe the masses lack imagination. Maybe Destiny is taking a nap.
Bottom line: No one knows why some succeed beyond their wildest dreams and others, equally talented and committed, don’t.
So if outrageous success is our goal, we must keep in mind that the only thing any of us can control is summoning the courage to start, the strength to do what we dream of over and over again for the joy of it or for the engagement. Then, maybe, hopefully, if the stars align, the skies part, and Destiny is awake, she chooses us.
And, for almost all of us, this will simply have to be success enough…
Call to action: If someone puts their heart and soul into a plan; work hard at it; and still fail, are they a success or a failure? Is it OK to be satisfied with enough?