Overheard: “Family is everything.” “My children are my proudest achievement.” “He died surrounded by family.” Culture is groupthink. Its aim is to create a fear of being alone. To alienate us from ourselves.
I’ve heard men say that their children are their greatest achievement. I’m sure that’s not what Siddhartha’s father was saying when not-yet Buddha slipped out of the family compound, abandoned his wife and infant son to their privilege, and hit the road to oblivion.
Peace, joy, love, abundance—these are realizations, not achievements. On the inner journey, effort is impedimental.
Forgiveness is sometimes cast as an achievement requiring the assistance of a priest or bartender. But forgiveness obviates effort. Indeed, if effort is required, it means you haven’t forgiven. You’re hauling a suitcase full of broken bricks. You set it down. Your body thanks you.
Success is not a permanency, a fixed condition. It’s more of an immanence, a moment-to-moment kind of deal. A man cannot become successful. He is either successful now or he is not successful.