“Success! Yes, I finally reached it. We’re done. I can retire now. Thank God I can stop doing what I’ve been doing for the last 38 years of my life.”

Who’s cajoling us into thinking that success is like math? That success is absolute? That because a homeless man is homeless that means he’s unsuccessful? And, less extremely, that we’re not successful because we haven’t published a bestselling book, or because we don’t have a bestselling degree (from a bestselling college)?

What if success were more like a river, and less like a pinnacle?

A river flows downstream. Jump into the river, and you get taken down a certain path. The pinnacle of success seems boring because a pinnacle doesn’t move us anywhere. A pinnacle is a finite point in space. It’s just there. Unmoving. Fixed. Absolute. A pinnacle is, to use the math analogy again, like a number. A pinnacle is 100,000. Point blank. Nothing more, nothing less. On the other hand, a river emerges. A river evolves, transforms, grows.

We should see success as something like a river, or a garden, or a farm.

Not as a fixed point. Not as an absolute.

Success should be something we tend to and care for every day.

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