I heard the above tune back in 1998 when I was about 10 years old. Now almost 17 years on, I still have it on my iPod and I’m gutted at the fact that Tupac might be right, that nothing will ever change. I listened to this track yesterday and picked out a handful of lyrics:
- “Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a ni***, he's a hero.”
- “Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.”
- “There's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.”
- “Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right."
The world has advanced in so many ways, yet nearly 20 years on, this song could have been released today and still be relevant. So I began to wonder what was missing in our pursuit of success. After all, when we think about wanting success, it's often motivated by the desire for change.
After some reflection, I began to wonder why society has become so socially latent; it seems the very pursuit of success has been misguided and reduced to self-indulgence and lifestyle. Making us blind to issues (like the ones above) that our successes could help eliminate.
Defining the Pursuit of success
We’re 15 years into the third millennium and I’m thinking about my own future and that of our future generations. I want them to become successful of course, but what message can I share that ensures their success isn’t pursued in vain. That their pursuit of success does not perpetuate social latency, because the idea of having a fancy car trumps the value of personal accomplishment.
We often look up to successful people today for all the wrong reasons, they set so many bad examples of what it means to be successful. Causing society to substitute true fulfillment for material possessions, to replace true leaders with pop icons and to adopt mass trends instead of embracing their own ideas.
I meet so many people living “successful lives” yet they struggle to find any fulfillment in the lives they live…that’s not success.
The pursuit of success seems lost in translation. It’s surprising how many people want success yet find it difficult to define it, let alone have any worthwhile reason as to why they want it. Lacking purpose and identity.
I think the pressure to look successful has blurred the true meaning of what it means to be successful.
The entire reason I anchored this topic off of Tupac, was to illustrate how much we have disconnected with the spirit behind success, and how this disconnect can result in no real progression or change. Be it in ourselves or circumstance.
Here’s a man who pursued success for much defined reasons. He became successful because he had the right spirit. That spirit then left a lingering echo through time. Leaving an awareness that identified some of his unfulfilled aspirations, for others to then recognize and connect with. To me that's a very good example of what it means to become successful.
Success and Spirituality
It’s spirituality that exists within great people of today and those that have left legacies behind for others to align with. The advances in science, the innovation in technology, the force of community, the boldness in art and the tenacity in sport. They were all driven by the spirit within individuals. Industries moved forward because those that carried the spirit of success prevailed.
I sometimes can’t help feeling that the connection civilization had to spirituality has been lost. Through the misinterpretation of religion perhaps, or the lack of belief and trust in those that lead us.
Spirituality is personal-growth, it’s giving our lives meaning, giving our ventures a reason to be pursued. It’s developing an elevated feeling of purpose. It’s the connection we can’t measure, yet have with our dream.
Spirituality authenticates our aspirations. It’s our journey, we should make it significant.
Having spirituality in success defines the outcome we desire. It’s the umbrella that hosts determination, courage, confidence, motivation, perseverance and pretty much anything else we require, that contributes to believing in ourselves.
Let the pursuit of success once again become a virtue. With it, make positive changes within ourselves and to world we live in.
We have the opportunity within us to leave a legacy, not just a memory. Pursue accomplishment and be successful, don’t just pursue the idea of success.
“You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.”
– Tupac Shakur, Changes