My morning meditation said this: "Can you accept anger, joy, hardship, love, success and failure as part of our common lot?" Yes, I think I eventually accept them all. But come on, success, really? Don’t we all accept that well? What’s so hard about that? So success is just part of our common lot as garden variety human beings? What a concept. We are destined to succeed? Huh. No more thinking we are something special, that by pulling up our bootstraps we will have the world by the tail, we will win fame and fortune and whip this world into place, ourselves at the center. No, it’s just part of the plan. Sometimes you succeed. Get used to it. Get over it.
If you’re old enough, you know that often we fail. That one gets easier to accept as you age. No more I’ll be a millionaire by the time I’m 30. No, you probably won’t. Even if you practice Steve Jobs’ seven secrets (no longer secret since last week’s “20/20”), you’re no Steve Jobs. So we naturally adjust our expectations of the world, and of ourselves. No more of the too harsh judgments on life, others or ourselves. Give everyone and ourselves a break, because we’ve aged long enough to know life breaks in your hands.
And what about when you meet with success? Do you think you deserved it, earned it, captured it by force of will? Did God destine you alone for it? Are you special? Hmmm. My reading suggests that we are destined for success (define as you will). I do believe in being positive, in going for what you want so long as you do no harm, in perseverance, and I especially believe in what I learn in the doing. I suspect the glory and wonder of reaching for a goal is the human spirit's capacity to hope, to defy all contrariness.
Success--it’s just part of the plan, man. That’s a delicious idea to me, an infusion for a dreary gray Monday morning when a grande nonfat mocha won't do a thing for my restlessness. Yes, I'll take that challenge and try to believe that success is just another piece of the humanity berry pie. Sometimes there’s a cherry on top, sometimes it’s day old, sometimes it’s crow, sometimes humble pie. Sometimes success is just what's left. The roulette wheel of fortune can leave you spinning. Just don’t read too much into it. I don’t want to steal your thunder, but sometimes you’re just gonna win, no matter how hard you try.
Then you spin again.