The “S” Word
It has no universal meaning, brings no security, and breeds eternal misery more than hope does, yet it has become a pivotal point in each and every one of our existences.
Some say it can be measured in terms of money, status, a zip code, a legacy, or even love.
At the heart of all of these controversies and interpretations, I’ve come to understand that the only conclusion these debaters have reached is as follows: success is hard to figure.
Perhaps its most mysterious quality lies within its ability to bewitch practically every single human being with even the slightest will to live.
I admit to being guilty of having acquired this drive, this motivation to excel. I’m grateful for the attraction that accompanies the mere prospect of success. History has proven that success is the most effective motivation known to the human race because ultimately, we are self-serving by nature, even in our acts of selflessness. Granted this isn’t a criticism, but rather a simple truth that helps explain our thought processes.
Why would we bother to try, if our efforts wouldn’t pay off in the end? How else would we rationalize working so hard if our investments would only result in failure? All of our pursuits have an objective, a goal that guides our actions and leads us in the direction of success.
With that said, I’ve noticed that our culture has taken steps to justify our actions under the assumption that in most any given scenario, we will choose the better action, option, or solution. Therefore, the implication is that by going for the “better” choice, people have a natural proclivity towards satisfying their own interests.
Furthermore, we can justify choosing the “better” option because we believe that doing so will increase our chances of attaining happiness.
Though I understand this reasoning on the surface, I can’t help but wonder why we function this way. Why do we torture ourselves with the pursuit of success under the impression that it will bring us happiness when there is no guarantee that our efforts will prevail, and there is no clear-cut way of knowing if or when we’ve even achieved success once we’ve reached the end of our pursuit?
Call it whatever you want, but we’re chasing an ill-defined entity, and I’m determined to uncover a satisfactory explanation behind this inexplicable characteristic we all seem to posses.