There’s an article on Tiny Buddha today about being happy whether or not you succeed. And I’m simply not sure how I feel about that. I paint. I love painting. And that makes me happy. But I want to sell my paintings. Share them with the world. And in fact, I just had my first purchase. I was super excited. Interestingly enough, I haven’t really told anyone. I was satisfied internally. I didn’t need the outside congrats or approval. But I know that selling it makes me happy. And that after trying to sell my art, if I didn’t, I would be crushed. I would feel like I failed.
Maybe it’s more than just believing in our ability to succeed; maybe happiness is believing in our ability to be content and satisfied whether we do or not. ~ Tiny Buddha article (link above)
I am not sure about this. It comes down to dreams and goals and life. I mean, I’m sure it’s all well and good to just try to be satisfied with simply living. But if you keep failing, how can you sustain that life. If you are supposed to be happy with just the effort, what happens when that puts you on the side of a street holding a paper sign with plastic bags around your feet? I know somebody whose dream is killing that person. It’s so stressful and has wielded so little success that the soul dies a little bit each day. Trying isn’t enough. This person wants to succeed and live a life doing what that person is passionate about, not being stuck in some cubicle doing data work. It causes desperation, makes that person choose terrible people to try to help in efforts (since the dream requires other band members), makes that person push away people that only want to offer love and support because time is running out and extraneous people are simply that – extraneous. The effort isn’t enough, and it’s quite possible that if success does not happen, that person will die, hating life and resentful. Choosing to pursue a dream and giving an entire life to it, just to fail…and we are supposed to be okay with that kind of thing?
It seems like statements and articles like this example from Tiny Buddha are made by people who have already succeeded. It’s much easier for them to say that the effort would have been enough, or should be enough, when they aren’t failing at their dreams, living in the trenches. And maybe I’m wrong. Hell, I just sold my first painting, maybe I have no room to talk either. I work in a field I love, well, two fields: Art and yoga…my life isn’t terrible. But the empath in my watches those around me fail and flail and live a life in pain because of a dream. Because of the desire to do something larger in this life than just sit at a desk. How do you tell someone who is investing everything in a dream…and still failing…that they should be satisfied that they tried?
Am I just being totally Western and harsh? Maybe I’m naive. I just want to believe that dreams can come true. That effort and passion count for something. That we can reach the end of our rainbows for that pot of gold…
Just haven’t really seen that yet, I guess.