The talks, season 1 episode 5(?)

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1 year ago

19-09-2022, 03:00am

Hi there Son,

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Anywho (who? Ani!),

I want you to read the following article, and think about what you feel about the topic before we go on to talk about it.

Does 'success' mean just making money?

It was written by @Mhc and I thought it would be good for us to talk about it.

I agree with the author, and what to me is the bottom line, is that being happy is being successful. However, there's much in that article I... let's just say I have comments on.

Yeah yeah, I know, I should explain, or at least mention, that I realize my life and my experiences are rather rare if not unique. I've explained before about my life before I met your mother, and how I got to be able to live that wonderful life. What I didn't tell you then is that I consider my life up to that point to be a huge success. Having said that, I want you to keep that in mind while I tell you what I think in relation to the article I showed you a moment ago.


My views and opinions being based on my life and experiences might therefore be rare, or unique, as consequence. This doesn't make my views inapplicable to anyone else's lives though.

On the contrary, I think if my views are put into practice by anyone they'll have the best lives they could possibly have in this reality. You can understand why I feel it's important that I talk to you about this and you at least have this knowledge and understanding going forward in your life. This topic is no different from any other "Life-lessons" I try to pass on to you.

This is my reason for voicing my opinions mostly but certainly in this particular instance. In no way is this reply meant to attack, offend, or be condescending towards the article or its author! Like I taught you before, you can disagree with something while respecting and appreciating the view of the writer and the writer's skill and knowledge.

Soo, that article huh?

It's a wonderful article with an interesting title. I agree with its main premise:

Success is being happy.


One minor issue I've got with your article is that it assumes a premise that is almost guaranteed to end in disappointments and grief throughout your life in the second-best case scenarios. There is a lot to be said about this, but as I am trying not to have this reply "big bang" itself into particle size I'll restrain myself and keep it shallow:

Your life can be successful without getting rich or achieving fame as a result of doing great deeds.

In the article, the author states on one hand that becoming famous and/or rich does not equate to success. He/She then proceeds to measure or explain certain things measured up to examples of famous and or rich people and their quotes. This is kind of contradictory, not to mention a wrong attitude when considering the statistical reality.

I assure you the most successful person ever to exist is someone we've never met, heard about, or would recognize. That individual would be embarrassed, in denial, and most of all they'd no longer be the most successful anymore.

The writer also suggests that becoming successful is only possible by relentlessly working and struggling to become better at what you do. Only the drive needed to achieve success can enable you to have the motivation to do what must be done to become the best.

I beg to differ.

Ask most Olympic gold medal winners 10 years after they've retired how they feel about that. Most of them will tell you they are failures. They might have once been the best on the planet in their fields and basked in the glory of their gold medal-winning achieving of the goal they'd set for themselves years before that moment. They were the happiest persons alive as they stood on the dais, seeing their flag rise to the top and hearing their national anthems play.

But ten years after their retirement from sports no one remembers nor does anyone recognize them. They hardly ever have any use whatsoever in their lives for either their achievements in their sport or the gold medals they've won throughout their careers. A disproportionately large group is even suffering from depression or other mental problems, become homeless and some even end up committing suicide, not wanting to live the rest of their lives knowing their greatest moments are in their past.

Fact time:

Setting a goal and devoting your life to achieving that goal is, statistically, logically, and scientifically, the worst thing one can do to their life. It practically ensures your life will be miserable and ends with your mind full of regret, disappointment, and sadness.

The fact that only one or two percent of humans will be successful in reaching the top of their fields not only serves to inflate the awe and respect for their achievements. No one ever cares about or has attention to the other 98 percent who do not achieve the success they have set to be their goals. No one thinks about or cares about the effect it can have on someone's life to have struggled, sacrificed, and suffered to become the best and reach that 2 percent only to fail and face what the future has in store for them without the fortune and fame they expected to enjoy at that point.

But there is more...

Another statement in that article, actually the one that triggered me into having this talk with you, as a father to his son, is completely untrue in my opinion. The writer of the article states:

"We all have a purpose in life."

That isn't true!!!

In fact, the opposite is probably true. We have no purpose in life, besides the one we decide to give it. There is no reason for our existence, no goal we are meant to achieve. We should count ourselves very fortunate to be the first species we know of that can understand the concept of purpose and is capable of setting goals and working to achieve those goals.

That last bit does come with a sidenote remark though:

The fact that we are capable of doing something does not mean we have to. In the same vane, we could assert also that to be successful does not inherently mean we need to succeed to be successful. This is a concept that is difficult for many to grasp though. I will be very blunt though and spare some of the readers a lot of anxiety and frustration:

If you don't understand the concept at this point you never will, and it will be pointless to try.

Having said that

In my own life, I have failed partially in achieving success, or at least in achieving lasting success. I have let tradition, expectations, and ignorance cloud my judgment and blind me from recognizing that I was successful already, and prevent me from being happy.

When you were born, everything changed. Not just me, but it felt like I had been transported into another universe altogether, and nothing was the same as it had been.

I convinced myself that I had to set higher goals for myself and then devote my life towards achieving those higher goals, for you to be able to respect me and learn how to be successful in your life.

It wasn't until very recently that I realized I was dead wrong about that.

I did set higher goals and worked relentlessly to achieve them after I became a father. I even came very close to achieving some of them, but close is not close enough. One day before the end of my trial period in my new job as manager of IT-Support for a major shipbuilding company the company's board of executives decided to put the reorganization and improvement of the IT service and support departments in the fridge, removing the need for the position of IT-Support Manager leaving me unemployed.

As I had quit my previous job (as opposed to being fired) I did not have the right to the same unemployment benefits that most unemployed had. This meant among other things I did not have the right to unemployment payment of 80% of the last salary I had worked for. Instead, I went straight to welfare which was more along the lines of 30-40% of my salary. Even if the other factors that affected my life at that point (becoming a single father, my wife leaving me for another, irs branding me as criminal fraud, etc, etc, etc) it would have been very hard for me to recover from that setback in my career (a setback which is feeling more and more like an ending than a setback lately but that's not for this article)

Hindsight being 20-20

Until that point, that moment I became unemployed, I can truly say (with significant pride) I was happy and successful! I had been for almost a decade and could have remained successful for decades more if it hadn't been for my "ambition" to become more than I was then.

What came after that was a period of downward spiraling decay and destruction of almost every aspect of my life that made me happy... of what made me successful. Misery, grief, sorrow, despair, and misfortune replaced pride, joy, contentedness, and happiness.

I had an epiphany of sorts very recently, realizing and accepting that part of the source of my unhappiness was my expectation to be able to find a job in IT-Services, prove my skills and knowledge, and then continue on the path that my career was on when I became unemployed. Every time I applied for a job opening I expected nothing less but to be hired, and given the opportunity to claw back up the corporate ladder to the same rung I had been on before.

It took me almost a decade to realize that, but now that I do realize that I've begun to re-quantify what I have, what I can, and what I need.

Long story short:

I am happy.

And as being happy is being successful, regardless of how rich or poor I am. Sure I'd be able to ceremoniously celebrate the achievement of said success more appropriately if I'd have more money. Sure I would prefer to have a full-time job and the income that goes with such things so I could give more to my son than I'm able to now. But I'm finally able to see, understand and accept that for the foreseeable future more income is not going to be possible. This frees me from the sadness and sorrow that came from not achieving the goal of getting the income i "wanted".

Without that sadness and sorrow, I realized I was actually not doing all that bad.

I have never felt real hunger or thirst, I have a wonderful, if old and deteriorating, home to live in. I have a great computer and a server with which I can indulge in my favorite activities. I also have the time and opportunity to do so, I have a wonderful, wise, happy, and carefree Son who loves me almost as much as I love him. I have no pain or sickness (so far), live in (one of) the best countries in the world, and with a little luck have another one or two decades left to live in my life.

Comparing my life with that of many many others on this planet at this time I have every reason to be grateful and content (if not happy) with my life. And this realization does make me feel happy, and therefore successful.

But enough seriousness for today. Let's go play some games, shall we?

Author's note:

I shall expand more on this topic in another article, should anyone turn out to be interested, and let me know through the comments.

For now, thank you for reading this.

Stay safe and stay happy!


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1 year ago


Life is just a race and we are running without setting our goals and without deciding what we want to do in our real life .... Because life is being materialistic and we running after the things that do not make us happy and we are chasing them just to gain social status... This era is the era of brand standards and status in which we live and just to maintain our image we ruined our inner peace and our little happiness just to show off nowadays that's everyone's life... Hope we will change.

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1 year ago

Not everybody. I've never been into brands, neither is my kid. We care only if something does what I need it to do. More and more people are coming round to this thinking though.

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1 year ago