I had been pondering this question and decided to post it here for all you to indulge your minds questing.
Think of life being continuous, now think about success or failure. These both are points of accomplishment or non-accomplishment hence a goal plateau. However these plateaus are not real because if we stand around too long saying things such as, "I made it! I'm a success!" or "I failed! I didn't achieve anything!" life is going to continue onwards and ask us (Much like a computer program works) "What's next?"
Imagine being in a race, you are running and ahead of everyone, you reach what you believe is the finish line! You are so overjoyed at this accomplishment and feel like, "Ah I have it made! I made it. I am a success! Life is good! I'll relax now." But as you are relaxing, you hear people shouting to you, "What are you doing? This isn't the finish line, get up keep running, go go go!" So you find because you chose to think you had made it, you are now falling behind and need to catch up again!
We could likewise say the same about failure, we stop feeling like we failed and what is the point but life doesn't stop and we eventually feel like sitting here is not working so we get back into running that race.
An interesting thought crossed my mind a while back. We all are running up this hill of life to get to the top. Some are running slower and some faster but we all are moving at our own pace. Even those that believe they are sitting still are moving at their own pace up that hill. That hill is Boot Hill and at the top is an empty grave and tombstone with your name on it.
I'd like to add an enlightenment my Jaianniah had, think of life as a wonderful, incredible, continuous adventure! Enjoy every "What's next?" moment because success and failure are passing moments of joy or sadness but not permanent, because as far as life is concerned it's asking you, "What's next?"
Yes success and failure are illusionary. They are just definitions/judgements. Everything in this world is neutral and only we decide what we want to perceive as failures (negative) or successes (positive).
Think about animal kingdom for instance. A lion has a 15% "success rate". This means one successful hunt for every seven attempts.
Would a lion judge his other 6 attempts as being failures? Would he feel bad and say "I failed 6 times in a row. I'm a looser. I'm worthless. This happens every time to me. God must hate me." or "I am a failure. What will others think of me?". No, because a lion doesn't judge and he doesn't produce dozens of unnecessary negative thoughts like humans do.
He just proceeds as usual.
Also one persons success could be another persons failure or vice versa. It's all just how you want to perceive it.
Everything we accomplish in life can be judged on a relative scale; therefore, what defines success or failure depends not on an absolute, but rather, on this scale...
For example, let us consider a married couple who "have it all". They have two kids who are bright and accomplished, a Cadillac or two in the driveway, a large home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., a private consulting firm which they run from their house. Sounds great, doesn't it? Most people would say they are successful.
But, in secret, they are not successful. After college, their eldest son takes off for a grand adventure, never to be seen again...Why? Because behind closed doors, the couple fought every day in front of their kids, and made nightmares of their kids' childhoods. Nobody knows anything about the fact that "Dad" is really still married to his first wife back West, has children from this marriage, and had his present two children out of wedlock.
So, on a relative scale, what would you say? Now that success looks a bit tarnished The eldest son really lived..his life is chronicled in the movie "Into the Wild". Christopher basically ended up in Alaska and slowly died of starvation because he knew very little about surviving in the wild. Some people admire him, others say he killed himself. But the point is that from different perspectives, this whole story has different measures of success and failure. Was Christopher Johnson McCandless a hero, or a crazy man? Were his parents villains or heroes? That is all for God to decide.
Here is another scenerio. We have a mother who raised four successful children. None of them are in jail, unemployed, any of that. But those kids are not communicating with their mother, Why? Because they feel she is crazy, a loser, an embarrassment. What caused this judgment? She was very ill with a necrotizing bacteria which nearly killed her, and they all decided to pull away, for whatever reasons. Who is right or wrong? Who knows? The mother did her very best by her kids, but here you have it. Again, God must judge.
We always end up with God. He is the only "objective" witness to our lives. Only He can judge us. So, in our reality, your statement is VERY true. Everything is relative, and success and failure are really dependent on your point of view. To a man like Bill Gates, Wade and I are broke. But to others, we are very rich...we are blessed with love for God, warmth, food, and a relationship with Jesus. To others, we are successful. I pointed out to Wade that we are on a "Grand Adventure' in life, for we do not have all the trappings of wealth to tie us down. We are spiritually rich. We have each other. And all of life is before us. Some would consider us wealthy beyond means.
To answer you, Wade, I would heartily agree. My parents' marriage was like McCandless'. I ended up needing a lot of help psychologically after I left home to recover from the hidden damage those two people wrought upon me. But in other ways, i was deeply blessed. I had my writing, my music, and a thirst for knowledge that is still unquenchable. I am a success to some; I am a BIG failure to most of my family. It all depends on perspective. Unlike Christopher McCandless, I lived. And I did not run.
Great question, one to really sink your teeth into. Thank you, love.
It depend by what you define as life. You see the tombstone and the grave as the end.And you will not bring annything physical with you that is sure. But we are more then physical.Did you over see a rock cry or being happy?Did you ever see a rock create something?Did a rock ever tell you what it dreams about? what it think? And how it feels?
Think about jesus and buddha did they regret living in this world? Did they say that it was the end of life?
read this: "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
you can also listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxaC_pgWtCk
Be passer by.
You might also like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSjzY0s0SM
Success in this world and success for the next world might not be the same also.
Remember jesus said:Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
If you have follow jesus teaching and always did your best it can be a success. You might not be rich or popular in this world if that is your definition of success.But that is not what is important. Also you might fail in this world but you can always work at it and get better. Does it matter yes it is your life. Your creator send you here and you have a perpace. ,Be the light that you can be,Learn grow ,experience and enjoy.
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