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Success is Not in the Eye of the Beholder !

We love success, and success is often perceived as being the accumulation of wealth. Of course, the meaning of wealth is perceived by some as purely financial, but for others, it is considered from an intellectual, relational, emotional, or spiritual perspective a combination of these components. When judging someone’s success, we seldom seek to measure the intensity or the weight of each component, and consolidate all of them. We do not have the reflex to exercise such analytical reasoning. We tend to read success through one component in particular exclude the others.

We all have a penchant for a component which we then use to interpret both our own success and that of others. Moreover, the predominant penchant in the interpretation of success and enrichment is clearly the financial dimension. This is neither new nor surprising. Deep down, we recognize that the financial dimension could only have value through indoctrination borne of a massively consumerist capitalistic system. The inertia of this system is such that we rarely have the opportunity to detach ourselves permanently from these values. That said, and to tell the truth, the financial dimension is not ugly in itself. Financial gain becomes ugly if it binds us to one dimension and detaches us from the others. This applies to all dimensions of enrichment (financial, emotional, and relational among others) as it is an addictive phenomenon in the sense that it reinforces our inclination towards binary reasoning.

Any attachment to a dimension accompanied by detachment from other dimensions skews our worldview. As an example, think of those who value themselves only through the number of their 'social' relationships, and judge others only through the importance of that number. Another example is when you meet people who excel in their own field of activity but who can only interpret the success of those around them with words and gestures that fall within the jargon specific to that field of competence! These people are the pride of society in terms of expertise, but become a burden if they see the success of others only through their own experience.This phenomenon is not unique to these two situations, and you may find other cases of ‘addiction’ to other dimensions.

We must understand that our vision of our own success should not create an interpretation of the world that blinds us to the riches of other individuals. The fatal trap, which poisons professional and social relationships, is to interpret the success of others through our own success. To each their reading of success, through their passions, ambitions and experience.

Recognition of this subtlety is an important prerequisite for personal and interpersonal serenity.

Farid Yandouz


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