The Secrets To Success?

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We all seem to want the advantage, or at least some insider knowledge when it comes to achieving what we want. Naturally, this hunger for secrets creates a huge amount of people selling the secrets. Are they right, are they wrong? Who doesn’t want the answer to that question?

Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Not everyone in western society is born with, or raised into having incredible self-esteem. Also a reoccurring theme in western society is that a can-do attitude, and high self-esteem is more important than talent. That idea is disputable, but it’s inarguable that we place a high value on the self-esteem, and optimism. Two easily definable traits of many extroverts.

Maybe this is why cocaine is so popular. Kidding aside, are there any valid secrets that these self-help gurus, religious texts, and many others espouse? Is every modern success story just a long story of someone who started from wealth, or whose family was already well connected?

No, that isn’t true of every story. Though, when the economy is not doing well the reality is that the people who achieve success more easily will always be the people who were raised by successful, wealthy, people. The only relatable factor in every story, and every self-help book, and so on, is perseverance.

Perseverance to get what you want may be the only thing that is ever relevant. Sure, you need the talent, sure you need the connections, and many other things. No human is going to be great at everything one needs to be a huge, major success. This is why middlemen exist in every facet, of ever day life. Some people are simply better at certain things than other people, and some people will persevere while others give up. Work smart, work hard, whatever your motto is, at the very least you must at least try.

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To Goal Or Not To Goal

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There is a great Robert Frost poem which is quoted above. Everyone views this poem at some point in their life, and being in the age of social media, it gets referenced all the time. The poem I’m esoterically referencing, is that ultra-famous poem called “The Road Not Taken”. Whatever you believe it to mean, it has some meaning to everyone who reads it. Thus is the beauty of the poem.

Some may consider it an affirmation that the road less travelled is perhaps the wiser road to take. They assert their individuality, and use this poem to do so. That’s a perfectly great way to interpret the poem. Relatable, and easy to understand, anyone can see how it’s an optimistic interpretation.

If you are an Orange Is The New Black fan, or just thought about the poem meanings more, then maybe you think differently. Not saying that any view is correct or anything, (In fact, that is the wonderful impossibility of the poem), just that this is another perspective to have. Not sure what the OITNB character’s name is, but she explains that the poem is more so about how everyone ends up in the same place no matter what they do. You can take the conventional route, or the less conventional route. Either way you will end up in the same job, and same life circumstance.

It’s hard to say whether or not one should aim for anything. Perhaps whether one aims the arrow or not is dependent on each individual. For me, the arrow is definitely aimed and hopefully precise. Then again, as they say, the unaimed arrow never misses. So are goals worth chasing, or do we get wherever we are supposed to anyway? Only father time will ever know.

Just Keep Digging

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Perseverance is a weird subject. Everything from self-help, to cynical media has their rationale on perseverance. Furthermore, everyone has their own individual goals. Some people put in numerous, unpaid hours in industries they love in belief that the end goal will justify the means. What if that end goal can’t satisfy your life’s needs? This is something that occurs on almost every reality television show, and frequently occurs for plenty of interns.

Are you a poor schlub for doing an internship just to get a below-average-salary job, because you’re young? Not to say that money buys happiness, or fulfillment, but necessities are necessities. What happens when the goal is achieved and the results are unsatisfactory? There isn’t just one definable path from intern, to worker, to middle management. Also, there are plenty of people who are at the bottom rung of the ladder for their entire lifetimes. Just getting by is not a fun way to live. Whether that is making just enough money, or simply getting nowhere at work.

Sometimes we are told to chase our dreams. It’s a great sentiment, and one I believe everyone should try at least once, but no one has the master plan. Many people make a living telling your how to achieve. Depending on what you want to do, some of them may be correct. Hell, everyone in the United States could use a financial guru.

Maybe no one has the answers and those who found them just kept digging. They just kept doing what they did and life worked out. Some people find achievement easily. For others it’s a lifelong process. Which one will you be? We must all dig our own gardens so it seems.

State Of Happiness

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When you are in your twenties/late teens trying to figure life out, the word happiness gets juggled around often. Many say you should do what makes you happy. Others say happiness is the key to life. It is hard to say whether anyone’s advice, given that it is genuine and heartfelt, is objectively great or awful. All advice is dependent on the recipient, no?

An individual may not even be ready for life-changing advice. Furthermore, the path to walk down is determined quite often on one’s outlook. In choosing a life, or a life’s goal, the only two things that matter are fear and bravery. The brave have a more difficult time, but reap the greatest rewards. Whereas the fearful have the easiest path, but few if any rewards towards the end. What got me thinking of all the conflicting messages, and our collective future as human beings, is the current state of everyone around me. In other words, my friends are all going to grad school.

A great decision if founded in great beliefs and genuine goals. With this decision, much like college or getting a job, many people are doing it because they have to, not because they want to. Many of these people are intelligent enough to trick themselves into believing whatever they want. Herein lies the flaw with our perception of happiness.

If the “real world” lacks your hearts desires, can grad school be much better? Money does not, and will not buy happiness. Achieving ones goals will not either, but it will bring fulfillment. Is chasing grades, goals, and money really going to bring happiness? It sounds cliche, but happiness comes before the goals, before the money, and before most everything else. It won’t come from a piece of paper, it may not come from your current beliefs, and it won’t necessarily come from achievement.The only place happiness can come from is a sound mind guided by a sound heart.

Perhaps that is the flaw with our logic of happiness. We chase the affirmations of our beliefs, and too often ignore the truth. Happiness should not be a result, but rather the core that energizes our being.