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Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Being Successful and Peaceful

--by Les Kaye (Sep 18, 2000)


The incentive to be successful is one of the most powerful gifts of humanity, energizing our creativity and inspiring us to engage our activity for the benefit of others. Yet there is a paradox within the motivation to succeed, for if we are not careful, we can be seduced by the almost universal misunderstanding that personal success automatically provides happiness and peace of mind. By paying careful attention to our own experience, we have a chance to realize that just the opposite is true, that the desire for personal success can never be completely fulfilled. We discover that the achievement of the moment may be satisfying for a time, but the elation soon wears off and we become anxious again to attain more. Recognizing the enigma does not mean that we are forced to make a trade off, that we must choose between peace of mind and success. But it does require understanding that the value of life cannot be measured by the size of our collection of personal successes. Peace of mind and the incentive to be successful coexist when we include others in our vision of success, when its meaning is unselfish, when success is more to us than personal attainment. It is the attitude of selflessness, the realization that giving, rather than collecting, is the purpose of life activities. -- Les Kaye, From Kannon Do Chronicles


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