What’s Your Relationship with Success? (And Why This Is More Important That Any ‘Success Strategy’!)
You Can Have What You Want… (but not by doing the things you think)
Earlier this week I recorded a podcast with my dear friend Maren: The Paradox of Success: how understanding the relationship with what you want is the key to unlocking success in all areas of your life.
If you’re working on anything in your life — at home or at work — then tune in and listen to our conversation about how to get more of what you want.
At the heart of this discussion is our relationship with what we want.
It turns out that how we feel, and how we feel out our feelings, is the key to achieving everything that (we think) we want in life.
Why is this? And how can it be the case that this is more important than ‘taking massive action'?
We’re told that ‘focus’ and ‘commitment’ (fist-pumping actions optional!) are the key to achievement. That we have to ‘set goals’, ‘show up’, ‘do what it takes’.
And yes, of course, if we don’t do anything, then nothing happens. I can sit at my keyboard, but these emails don’t write themselves!
…Creates a Stranglehold
We’ve all seen those movies where the guy or the gal is soooo desperate for a relationship that he or she pushes away any potential partner. And it’s often at the moment of letting go, that love falls in their lap.
It’s exactly the same in life and work: holding on too tightly to the thing we think we want will squeeze the life out of it.
But how do we square this circle? How do we bring together action, with lack of attachment? It can appear paradoxical.
And what is attachment anyway?
As Maren asks (and answers) in the podcast, it’s something that we’re (innocently) making up through thought. We don’t actually live in the future, we live in the present, so it has to be the case that everything we’re making up about having that job, or achieving success in our business, is coming from what we imagine it will bring us, and — crucially — how we think it will make us feel.
This is key to unlocking the paradox.
We make up a story about how ‘having’ something (or not having it) will make us feel a certain way.
But how can that be the case?
It’s because feelings are intricately connected with what we think; they’re not ‘transmitted’ through the air from the thing that we’re looking at. We make up meaning, and then we live into it as if it’s true.
But what’s the alternative?
We want to ‘do well’ in life? We want to have things and to contribute to the world around us, to be in loving relationships, have children perhaps, friends certainly. Does it all mean nothing??
Not at all!
The Game of Winning
Success is a game.
It’s like tennis. Or football (ouch, sore point this week!) It’s no more ‘real’ than any sport of game my eighteen-year-old son might play on his PlayStation. We choose our sport and we play full out. And, we know it’s a sport.
That’s the key to solving the paradox.
Because, when all’s said and done, we are not what we do. We are not the career, or the clothes, or the ‘identity’ we take on in our short lives. We are so much more than this.
We are an expression of what it means to be alive, we are a source of unlimited ideas and creativity. A source of love and joy. And, if we bring those qualities to the game, we’re sure to win, whatever the outcome.
Listen in to hear the full discussion.