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October 24, 2022

Success isn’t Linear. It’s not Easy. It’s not a Straight Line. It’s a Dance of Failure & Growth.

Success isn’t Linear.

It’s not Easy. It’s not a Straight Line. It’s a Dance of Failure & Growth & Stability & going with the Flow. 

If, like me, you’ve been having a hard time—in business; in love and love lost; in losing a loved one, or a friend, or pet—this dance will make your day and mind and heart precisely 37.6 percent better:

Whether the challenge is quitting drinking, separating from a loved one where it’s just not working, forging your right livelihood dream career against the headwinds of not-making-a-living, finding a job in a tough market…this hits home, and may inspire a tear.

Let’s tweak our “How are You” culture so that we ask and answer honestly. Community is a good part of resiliency in tough times.

I’ve been calling it my “Cowboy Song year”—you know, my pickup done broke, my girl left me, my dog died. ⁠

Most of that applies, and there’s more. But there’s bright spots, too, and all the suffering and ache and loneliness and loss allows room for new, too. ⁠

 

Success isn’t linear. Sometimes, it’s sisyphean—we roll the boulder up the hill, it rolls down again. Someone—Camus—changed the meaning of that myth by positing that Sisyphus enjoyed his work. That’s our task, from a Buddhist point of view—to cross the river—and enjoy it. Those who manage both are called sugata, a higher honor than tathaghata, I was taught.

Success isn’t linear. A friend and mentor, David Sanford, yesterday, reminded me of the words of a Buddhist teacher: that it is in failure or tough times that we see the fruits of our meditation, maitri (making friends with ourselves) practice. We see that in this dance—rolling with the momentum of loss can get us back on track. But, though the goal may be clear, the track we travel to get there will not be what we expect at the outset.

Success isn’t linear.

The original song is Olsen Olsen – by Sigur Rós

“Should end with some rich guy using an elevator at the side of the stairs then repeatedly kicking this guy off the top step.” Still, rich guys can’t thread the needle, necessarily, of our finding meaning and joy in our own lives, or often, in theirs.

From Only Murders in the Building:

Another, similar, but with a different theme.

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