#3b: Success cont.
The other day, I met with one of my family friends who recently experienced deep loss in his life. Something he said has stuck with me. While his circumstance is one I wouldn't wish upon anyone, he reminded me of something I'm again losing sight of for a number of reasons. He said that after all that has occurred, he realized that nothing else matters besides being happy. That some of the things in our lives we attribute to our happiness, or we believe are necessary to our happiness, do not in fact. But the beauty of vagueness is that this has a different meaning to every individual. Despite differences, I still it's an important sentiment thing to be mindful of.
Rediscovered this commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. I think you should read it and make your own personal connections between it and the meaning of success.
"Never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on."
"None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness — awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: “This is water, this is water.” It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."