Does Success or Failure Really Exist?
Dedicated with great love to those who walk the path
In a society that glorifies achievement and competitiveness, many undergo experiences which leave them with the experience of failure.
The experience of failure is engraved in the psyche and is often accompanied by emotional trauma, pain and disappointment, damage to the worthiness and the formulation of a hesitant worldview that perceives life as a realm full of obstacles, difficulty, effort and burden.
What is a failure
According to the dictionary’s definition, failure is the "inability to achieve a goal, a lack of success".
But does success or failure really exist?
It depends on the level of consciousness and how we perceive reality...
Failure expresses a gap between the desired and the actual which has not been bridged.
The categorization of this gap as "negative" and "bad" is transforming the failure from a nonjudgmental analysis of a gap that requires bridging, to a negative charged mental and emotional experience, accompanied by disappointment and self-judgment that often damage self-worth and create traumas, restraints and lack of mental and emotional well-being.
In order to break free of the categorizing that the psyche creates regarding "success" or "failure," one must free himself from absoluteness and classification of reality through the lens of "black" or "white," and recognize that "failure" and "success" are merely two states out of a wide scale of possibilities for fulfillment, upon which one can move within the various life processes.
Beyond the points of "success" or "failure", there are many other states, none of which define the self – including the states of "success" or "failure".
Dismantling the emotional baggage and prejudices related to success or failure, leads to the recognition that success or failure do not define the self, releases fear of failure, and allows to relate with equanimity to both success and failure, seeing them with an awareness that these are merely two milestones within a broad and layered process in which development and learning took place.
In this context I recommend you to read the consciousness packet in this link: "Equanimity as a tool for creating clarity and freedom"
In an achievement driven society that is accustomed to grade, measure achievement through quantitative measures and categorize success as "good" and failure as "bad," there is a tendency to categorize achievements in a survival and dichotomous manner ("good" or "bad", "black" or "white", "success" or "failure, "excellent" or "inadequate" and more). Thus, observing the choices made and their results and achievements and calculate "profit" and "loss".
Perceiving failure as a loss, sees failure as damaging a competitive movement that seeks to achieve goals and to conquer objectives.
In such a state of mind, the fear of failure can lead to two polarized forces that are not balanced: fear of failure, which constitutes a strong, sometimes even destructive and arbitrary, force of motivation, encouraging a person to meet challenges and develop; or fear of failure that constitutes a blocking force that creates impotence, mental restraints and avoidance of challenges and new experiences.
As stated, it is necessary to release the mental and emotional baggage connected to success or failure and recognize that in both states there are systems of experience and learning that develop and enrich the individual.
Meaning there is no failure or success, no good or bad, no gain or loss - there is development and learning
In actuality, in every "failure" there is great profit, which stems from the learning and wisdom created throughout the process.
Changing the perception and recognizing failure as an asset, completely changes the life experience and gives birth to a conduct that holds curiosity, experience and learning based upon existential confidence, self-worth and an abundance of well-being.
In order to understand this idea, try to imagine a road connecting one city to another.
The city in which the person is located is the starting point (the actual - the place where the person is at the present time) and the city to which he seeks to go to is the destination point (the desired - the place to which the person aspires).
Along the road, there are stops with many different and diverse villages.
The villages are spread out between the desired and the actual, and they contain experiences and challenges that can enrich the person walking along the path.
One person arrived at the target city, while another person stopped at one of the villages.
Does the target city the first person reached define him? Does the village where the other person stopped define him?
The answer is no. Both persons visit these destinations because of the choices they made while on the road.
These two persons are not the destination itself, but only visitors. The destination does not define them. Each one of them can choose to proceed to the next destination. Each one of them received a personal subjective learning by walking the path, and this learning is the asset they will take with them to the next chosen destination.
When a person is focused on the destination, he may miss the road
When the destination is absolute (this is the only place I want to reach), reaching it defines the self (if I reached the destination, I am successful and capable).
Thus, when the person does not reach the destination, an experience of failure is born (I did not reach the destination I set for myself and thereby I perceive myself as unsuccessful, unworthy and flawed).
When we move forward with equanimity, without depending on the destination, while recognizing that the destination is not absolute and can change while moving, along with knowing what the destination is and what is the direction of the movement towards the destination, allows to walk the path with curiosity, willingness and joy.
Thus, the movement on the path is one of freedom, exhilaration, and openness towards anything the path has to offer, without categorizing it as good or bad, without fear of loss or without wanting to make a profit.
In this state, the person becomes the movement itself, and all the experiences he accumulates on the path are not classified as success or failure, but become assets that enrich the person and enhance his wisdom and the wisdom of his heart.