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.
It is a thin and inconsequential book, the one that success writes. Failure, by comparison, is a playwright’s dream—dark, depthless and quiveringly quiet, like Robert Frost’s woods or Paul Simon’s blacked-out bathroom.
Intuitively, we know very well that we are subject to forces we cannot control and do not understand, and that we’re going to die soon. It’s why we don’t describe ourselves as finished products. It’s also why we squeeze a bit of succour from titles and corner offices.
Yes, relationships can be worked on, and sometimes these efforts are successful. But love is not an effort; it cannot be worked on or deemed a success.
It is impossible to fail on purpose. The man who does this has, after all, succeeded. Failure is the Paschal mystery. It’s where the new me is forged.