It would seem that our desire to succeed overrides our need for our inner well-being.
Striving endlessly or obsessively for success seem to leave us feeling distressed and unwell rather than feeling fulfilled and elated!
There are many who have gone through great stresses to achieve success, and yet, managed to arrive at a point of fulfilment in their lives. They are able to enjoy their success still keeping their physcial and mental health in tact! Perhpas, they are the ones who knew how to go about it the right way!
Wanting success becomes probematic only when we go about it the wrong way, when we compromise our health and inner wellbeing to achieve that very success!
The Desire to be Successful
A desire to succeed in itself is not a bad thing. It in fact encourages us to get up every morning and aspire towards something! This can only be a good thing, right?
We place ourselves under enormous amounts of pressure over a long period of time with our obsessions to achieve our successes!
This process seem to simply remove the magic and enjoyment of doing something simply for the love of it! Is it any surprise then to find that most of us today are in a constant state of distress and anxiety?
Where are we going with our endless desires to want more,
have more and to excel in everything we do?
The question I am asking you is this, what price are you willing to pay for your successes?
Success to Distress
Corporations live in a result-based reality! However, our bodies are not capable of functioning like a machine continuing to output or churn out endless success stories! It needs to stop/rest, it needs at least 8 hours of sleep every day, it needs to be quiet, it needs to be nourished and comforted.
“…are we any happier and healthier with all our successes?”
I am not criticizing our desire to be successful per se, nor those who are driven by success. Some thrive on the ‘striving’ or, at least they seem to think so!
Our drive to Succeed
However, today there the drive to succeed seemed to be expected of us! I feel enormous pressure to be successful in everything I do even though I conider myself not that ambitious I feel the pressure to constantly measure myself against so many things and people!
An Athlete constantly has to compete with him/herself first in order to become the best he/she can be. However, in our day to day lives, is this really necessary?
While competition on every level makes some people thrive, it brings others to the brink of ill health or imbalances.
Unawares of what has now become our own trappings to be super-humanly successful, in every aspect of our lives, we continue to exist in a state of ‘fight’ or ‘flight’! This state eventually causes our fragile body and mind to dis-ease. No amount of yoga retreats and massages and herbal remedies could cure our prolonged state of ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ lifestyles, which sadly most of us have come to think of as ‘normal’!.
“…we may not want to constantly compete with ourselves and others…”
Even when we practice Yoga today we are competing with ourselves and others.
At work we are treated and reared like cattle in a hypnotic state waiting to be slaughtered by performance ratings despite all the effort and hard work we put in! We are still expected to do more and more to be successful, at work and in our personal lives!
Is it then a great surprise that our places of work, our family units, our society and our body and mind have become places of imbalances, driven by glorified definitions of success stories, drip-fed to us by corporations!
Managing our Desires and learning to say ‘No’
Today, it is ever more pressing for us to clearly define what happiness, success, and well-being mean for us! It is necessary to evaluate the demands of our various desires and ask ourselves, if striving for that desire will serve us well in the long run!
As stated earlier, some thrive on striving whilst others arrive at the brink of ill health. This is perhaps because we are not all from the same ‘breed’!
You may be someone who is willing to compromise your inner wellbeing and overall health because you are certain at the end of it all, you will have some success, and, have enough money to pay your medical bills should it become necessary!
It comes down to learning to manage one’s desires by learning to say NO first! Saying ‘no’ when you know that you have achieved enough is paramount to maintaining a healthy balance within us!
Identify your inner limit
Most importantly, we must not only able to identify our inner coping limits but also make a decision to stay true to that limit. If we can do that, we can avoid placing our body and mind under unnecessary stress! This does not mean we are failures. It just means that we have become skilled at managing our desires!
Less we consent to an external onslaught of newer and more improved concepts of what we should desire and aspire to, the more power we will take back to build a happier and a balanced life for ourselves.
If each of us make more effort to prioritize our inner well-being first, then we may have more balance and even more success in our lives!
As my Dad often used to say, everything in moderation! This to me, is true success!
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