Don’t Aim at Success – You Are Going to Miss

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel completely powerless to change things?

Perhaps you got yourself into a mess.  Perhaps you had a bad situation thrust upon you.  Regardless, you are in the middle of a bad situation and there seems to be no clear way out.  Hope has flown the coop.

Has hope really deserted us?  Or, have we been looking in the wrong place?

I am currently taking a class with my son at his high school in Cleveland, Ohio.  We recently finished reading a book, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.  Perhaps you already know the title?  I read this book 25 years ago and had forgotten much of the incredible insights presented by the author.  In summary, Frankl wrote the book in 1946 after he emerged from Nazi concentration camps, including the barbaric Auschwitz death camp.  The book is not necessarily an account of the Holocaust, but rather a penetrating insight into what gives people hope to continue living, despite their circumstances.  This book is a must read, especially if you are feeling down in the dumps.  It will have you thinking in new ways about the meaning of your life.

Here is just one of the “jewels” from the book:

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

The beauty of this idea which Frankl presents is that it is liberating, it takes the pressure off and gives you the PERMISSION to become the most authentic version of yourself.

There are so many insightful moments in this book that I plan to blog on it more in the near future.  If you haven’t read the book, do so, soon.  It’s a quick read and it will change your life.  I guarantee!

About Matt

Tech Sales Professional and Certified Coach - Helping professionals achieve their goals
This entry was posted in Courage, Leadership, Personal Development. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Adam Hermanson

    Great post Matt.  Thanks for calling us to a higher vision of success that starts with authenticity!

    • mrudmann

       Thanks Adam.  If you haven’t read Frankl’s book, be sure to put it on your MUST READ list.