By Steve Wells
The illusion of success is that it is always off in the distance, somewhere else, that place we’d rather be, anywhere but here. You don’t get to feel successful until you are successful, which is after you have done what you think you need to do. So most people feel bad in the present, it isn’t where they think they should be. So they dissociate from it, step away and criticise where they are, or daydream of another reality, anything but the one they have right now.
Do you think of success as some time way off into the future? Then you get to feel unhappy, even miserable, right now.
Do you believe that you don’t deserve to feel good right now, until you have met some criteria for success? Go directly to deep depression. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
Try this: Simply notice the state you go into when you think of how successful you are right now. If you feel great, fantastic, you know that you already are successful. Go directly to GO. The place where you are right now.
If you feel negative when thinking of how successful you are right now, this can only be because you believe that something else is required in order for you to feel successful. Something you should have, something you should do (or even worse, something that others should do for you), something you should stop doing, or something you should be (which of course, you are not!).
And those beliefs are a prescription for more unhappiness… Unless you consider an alternative definition of success.
Success is not way off into the future. Success is available to you right now. As paradoxical and strange as it may seem, success begins with acceptance of where you are right now.
Barry Kaufman, who wrote Happiness is a Choice, says we believe we have to have reasons to feel happy and successful. So we decide for example that once we have achieved something then we will let ourselves feel happy. First success, then happiness.
So we set a goal for example to buy a new house…
Now according to the rules, we aren’t allowed to feel happy until we have achieved whatever it is that we should achieve, such as once we have moved into that house.
And here’s the worst of it: We believe we have to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals by using pain! So we make ourselves feel unhappy about our current housing situation in order to get ourselves do the things and achieve the things that will (eventually, presumably) make us happy and in the house of our dreams!
But it’s a trap. We are caught up in an endless spiral of misery if we swallow this BS (belief system) about success because when we achieve the thing we are supposed to achieve then we are supposed to set a new, higher goal and never be satisfied where we are because being satisfied with where you are and with what you have is considered deadly for ongoing achievement… So when we move into the house, then we need to furnish it with the right kind of furniture, or decorate it correctly, and make the garden just so…
So we get back on the pain treadmill in an attempt to make ourselves do and achieve some more, all the while motivating ourselves by saying that one day we will get to feel happy once we achieve this new, more challenging, goal, and once our house is perfect…
What’s the solution?
Strange as it may seem, the most powerful thing you can do to become happier and more successful is to accept where you are right now. Unhappiness exists only when we slip away from what is happening to judge what is happening…
As Kaufman states: “Unhappiness does not exist in the present moment! … Unhappiness exists only as a reflection or regret about the past or as an anticipation or worry toward the future. It does not exist right now, in this moment… if we can stay in this moment.”
When you go away from this very moment to bring a fear or fantasy or memory into the moment, that becomes your present moment… You separate from what is really happening, you lose contact with the only truth you can really know, what is right here, right now.
Acceptance is not passive, as many people fear, since where you are right now is the starting place to where you will be. I read once that you can go anywhere in the world you want as long as you are willing to start from where you are (source unknown).
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."
- Carl Rogers
But we are reluctant to be where we are; we want to be somewhere better. And when we get there, we’ll find somewhere better than that to pine for. All the while missing the bleeding obvious that we already are where we most need to be right now, and that everything we need is “hidden” right here in this very moment.
One of the great values of tapping is that it can be used to bring you fully into this moment, to release the emotional attachments to being someplace else, to quiet your mind, and to experience the peace and silence from which all creation begins.
“If I love the world as it is I am already changing it: a first fragment of the world has been changed, and that is in my own heart.”
- Novelist Petru Dumitriu
You are where you most need to be right now, and everything you need to succeed is contained in this very moment. Don’t miss it.
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