Overcoming the Poison of Society’s “Success”

Overcoming the Poison of Society’s “Success”

In the pursuit of a dream, we will stumble across many “poisons” that attempt to deter us, weaken us, and make us doubt our dream’s capability and legitimacy. Like a physical poison, it’ll work through your system and slowly kill any hope of passion and confidence.

One of those poisons that has haunted me quite a lot is the perceived notion of “success” that is intentionally-unintentionally pushed on us from society. Well, it is half the time, and then the other half is our own self-imposed notion. There’s different factors that we may deem “successful,” and it can slightly differ amongst us, but overall it involves the same concept. And, ultimately, it results in us believing that because our lives don’t match this picture, then we’re not successful.

First of all, this is all this “success” is: a picture. An idea. An ideal imagined by generations of a collective culture that has changed and merged and intersected so much we’ve lost track. So this picture of “success” has changed an insurmountable amount of times. It’s irrelevant. It’s pointless. There’s no need to pay it any attention.

Here are a few things to dwell on:

  • What makes you happy?

Now, if having a certain income or marrying well or climbing the ladder to CEO or becoming famous is what makes you happy, then by all means pursue it! If none of that matters to you, then there’s nothing wrong or different about that. If you’re happy, or at least content, I’d say you’re doing pretty good.

  • Every path is different.

Even when two people are pursuing the same thing, they won’t do it exactly the same way. And both are valid and equally successful.

  • What’s better: satisfied others or satisfied you?

What’s so great about living a life that others demand and being miserable and bitter all the time? I’m sure you’d rather be pleased with yourself. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t listen to wise and well-meaning advice from those you trust and who know you well, and this doesn’t mean you don’t practice humility and sacrifice (after all, Character comes before dreams). But also don’t forget to listen to your own gut. Even in the midst of presumed certainty, your gut will never lie.

  • Society knows nothing of you.

You know you. Your family and friends know you. What do they say about you? What does your heart say about you?

  • Divert your thoughts when they dwell too long on this “success.”

Thinking too much about this will only make you lose hope and energy. Have a plan to divert your thoughts to something more productive, and something more positive. Choose a subject on which you will habitually think about when your mind starts to wander into darkness (Philippians 4:8-9, “think on these things…”)

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Weekly Devotional: Nothing More Hopeful than Love

Weekly Devotional: Nothing More Hopeful than Love

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

I’ve come to realize something: need hope? then love.

I don’t think I have to go into an explanation of how and why love is the most powerful thing. But I do think sometimes we forget about the close correlation love has with hope. Hope can be a hard thing to keep. At times it feels like we are hanging on to it by a single thread. From a cliff. With one hand. And it’s raining, making our grip nearly impossible.

The one thing that gives us strength to keep hanging onto that precious thread is love. If you don’t seem to have enough of it, then give it out. More love=more hope. Think of love, and get hope.

 

 

 

“In the Absence of Light”

“In the Absence of Light”

There’s an absence of light
Behind my eyes,
An absence of words
In my fingers,
And on my tongue
Sings voices I have not heard
In many years.
There’s an absence of warmth
From my arms,
Where a baby would sit;
An absence of solemnity,
The kind that was sad
But also safe.
There’s an absence of fear
Yet an absence of strength
In my legs, enough
To stand on sand
As the chilling ocean waves
Sweep me out from under.
An absence of sincerity
Haunts my movements
And my intentions,
An absence of desire
For camaraderie,
Fellowship, constraint.
An absence of openness.
There’s an absence of light
Because I walk in the dark.
But in the absence of light,
I still walk.

Catherine Joy