Sunday, May 2, 2010

A small gift to you this week

"Again and again I admonish my students in Europe and America: Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run - in the long-run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it." Viktor Frankl - Concentration camp survivor, psychotherapist and noted author.


  1. Viktor Frankl was made famous by Stephen Covey as a wonderful, inspiring example of the idea of being proactive. Kind of funny that that quote completely contradicts Covey's point. "Don't aim at success...'? Pretty much the exact opposite of being proactive. Just for the record, I would side with Covey. Frankl sounds like an idiot here.

  2. After a long career in Hollywood, arguably one of the most success-driven and competitive businesses in the world, I find Frankl's statement to be 100 percent correct. Sadly, I know many, many people who have made success their goal only to find at the end of it all a terrible sense of emptiness and failure. No matter what they have achieved, they crash into the reality that they have lived only for themselves. When we are no longer riding the roller-coaster and the adrenalin rush that has sustained us fades away, we see the frenetic mirage for what it has been. Then the haunting questions start, the ones we have tried so desperately not to hear. Certainly, they are the ones Jesus Christ asked so long ago. "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul. Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

  3. Joey,

    You should know that Covey is a Mormon. His entire worldview is based on performance and obedience to law, as are most cults that demand unquestioning obedience to crazy points of view. While his "7 Habits" book has good advice, it's based, like Glenn Beck, on a completely insane world view. Change out "proactive" for "works" and you will, I hope, understand what I'm saying. And neither Covey or Beck actually lived through anything near to the holocaust. So a cushy life as a Mormon cult member in Utah leads a Covey to deny the truth discerned by suffering through the holocaust? And he's a member of a cult that disallows questions and distorts their own history to their own members (and I know this by interacting with young Mormon missionaries days ago). His so-called self-help book MIGHT have decent advice but Covey himself is totally delusional. He's a member of the Mormon cult and can't be relied on for anything. To listen to Covey is to listen to darkness and lies covered in the chocolate coating of "responsibility".

  4. 1. Aim to help others, & you will find fulfillment & ultimately success.
    2. Aim for good health, & some of that extra weight will come off.
    3. The secular world says to find something you love & figure a way to make money from it. There is some truth to that. If you just aim for money, you will be miserable & spend that extra money you made to kill the pain from the stressful job!
    Just a few thoughts......

  5. Anyone who approaches anything with an ultimate end result in mind – as opposed to having advanced in their awareness to simply desiring to be of Service – is bound to find the inside of that desperate desire inhumanly hollow.

    It’s akin to realizing why they call Show Business a BUSINESS first and foremost (with virtually every other aspect afterwards, which is why one appreciates the remarkable miracle of craft and creativity when – or if – something attains significance of entertainment, let alone Art).

    It’s why only by having access to the inside of something can you really learn (and witness) the truths behind it – or the illusions (with their Rice Krispies non-foundation) which sustains it.

    To say nothing of the residual perspective talent rarely has anything to do with one’s character (and how, more often than not, you can come to admire someone’s gift yet loathe their personality).

    It’s only by Letting Go - and trusting a higher Guiding Flow – that our purpose for being here is not only revealed but rewarded.

    Not tangibly (tho that’s nice).

    Not materially (which can be even nicer).

    But doing and being the best it’s in our ability to be.

    Offering that.

    Sharing that.

    All else will accrue in its own time and with its own individual title.

    Yet, as with all things, if you’ve not been exposed to this truism via the evidence of your own anchored experience, Coleman’s quote will seem like nonsense.

    Except the ultimate sense it makes is authentic gold – not iron pyrite.