Refrain From Pursuing Success

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
3 minutes

Success is like the Muse and must be courted obliquely and not directly.

Do not strive for success. The more you make it a target and shoot at it, the more likely you are to miss it.

Success, like pleasure, cannot be sought directly; it must come from one’s personal commitment to an objective bigger than themselves.

The Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s most sacred texts, is crystal clear. Krishna tells Arjuna:

“Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working.”

Your desire to win deprives you of your power.

To be happy with yourself in the present moment while maintaining a dream of your future is an excellent recipe for manifestation. When you feel so whole that you no longer care whether “it” will happen, that’s when amazing things materialize before your eyes.

Success can come in many forms and can be measured in various ways, such as financial, career, personal, and societal.

Success should not be a primary focus or goal. Instead, success should be seen as a byproduct of pursuing something meaningful and vital.

When you dedicate yourself to a cause greater than yourself, you will naturally become more successful.

The reasoning behind this is that when a person is focused on achieving success for their own sake, they may become too preoccupied with achieving that goal and neglect other important aspects of their lives.

They may also become too narrowly focused on their own interests, rather than considering the needs and concerns of others.

On the other hand, when a person is dedicated to a cause greater than themselves, they become more motivated, productive, and fulfilled. They are more likely to collaborate, work with others, and positively impact the world.

It’s important to note that this concept does not mean that one should not strive for success but rather that success should not be the primary focus or goal.

Instead, success should be seen as a natural outcome of pursuing something meaningful and important. Pursuing a cause greater than oneself can lead to a sense of purpose and fulfillment, leading to a successful outcome.

Many factors contribute to success, and different people may define success differently. It’s not all up to our effort and focus. Some commonly cited factors include:

  1. Networks: Having a solid network of contacts and connections can provide access to information, resources, and opportunities that can be valuable for achieving success. This can include professional contacts, mentors, and people who can offer support and guidance.
  2. Inherited wealth: Having financial resources can provide opportunities and advantages that may not be available to others. This can include access to education, resources, and the ability to invest in opportunities that may not be available to others.
  3. Luck: timing and luck play a role in success. This can include being in the right place at the right time, being open to opportunities when they arise, and taking advantage of unexpected opportunities.

It’s important to note that none of these factors alone guarantee success and a combination of different factors may be necessary to achieve success.

My success recipe is straightforward: Give whatever you put your mind to with no concern for the outcome for yourself. Instead, work as though the universe was giving it to you because it did.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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