I gave some helpful examples of the fact that, generally speaking, success if a choice, in my other topic, My Three Principles for Happiness and Success (in that order!) | Be Happy and Achieve Incredible Success Guaranteed:
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: ↑June 15th, 2023, 1:13 pm
Generally, in the long run, success is a choice. For example, if you weigh 400 lbs, and you want to lose 200 lbs, you can. If you are an alcoholic and you want to recover and stop drinking, you can. If you are home alone lonely and haven't had a romantic partner in months--or years--and you want to get one soon, you can. Or, if you are a sex addict and you want to recover and stop having sex and live the rest of your life as a born again virgin, you can. If you want to make a million dollars and become a millionaire, you can. If you want to become a bestselling author, you can. If you want to start and own your own successful restaurant, you can. If you want to get married, you can. If you want to get divorced, you can. If you want to climb a huge mountain, you can. If you want to sit at home and spend as much time as possible just quietly sitting on your porch drinking tea and staring up at the stars, you can.
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Be careful with words like "work hard", especially if it refers to something like "trying". As my book says, trying is lying.
In the same way that hope and fear are really basically just the same one thing from different angles (to hope for X is just to fear -X), and in the same way that cold and hot are really just the same one thing from different angles (to have more cold is to just have less heat), so too is it that trying and failure are just both the same one thing viewed from different angles, and that thing is an illusion, usually one indicative of self-deception and self-hatred or self-abuse, which all-together is thus a lack of self-responsible self-accepting free-spirited inner peace built on true love rather than toxic codependency or abuse, namely self-abuse.
Remember, grace and gracefulness is defined (by me) as doing without trying. It's effortless action. It's wu wei.
Do or do not; there is no try. As my book says, to try is to lie. In other words, generally speaking, to see yourself as a failure is to lie to yourself. To tell others you are a failure is to lie to them.
One of my favorite TV Shows is "My 600 lb Life". It tickles me how the people will come in a month later for their weigh-in, having gone up in weight (meaning they ate over 6,000 calories per day on average), and then say they don't understand how it happened because they worked so hard and tried so hard. I don't pick on them; it's just perhaps the perfect epitome of the human condition and the things a typical human says regardless of what that person's individual addictions and props happen to be in their unique version of the common human struggle uniting us all. It's the same script but we each have our different props on our different stages, each the protagonist in our version of the same general play. As I say in the book, all humans are on the addiction spectrum.
Imagine the alcoholic who says they try really hard to not drink, and they work so hard at it, but they fail and then claim success is not a choice, and start muddying the waters by talking about all sorts of external circumstance, luck, and the countless list of things they have to blame or complain about. Many people don't like to practice radical acceptance and forgiveness because it washes so much mud out of the water, and that mud is comforting to one who chooses failure or otherwise isn't at peace with their choices. Failure-choosers find comfort in muddying the waters with such nonsense.
Imagine a spouse gets caught cheating (a.k.a. committing adultery, or having an affair), and then says, "I tried really hard to not cheat. I worked so hard at it. But success is not a choice. Bad luck and external circumstance are to blame."
In my philosophy, the very concept of blame itself doesn't make sense. It's just nonsensical mud in the water. It doesn't really apply. There is nobody to blame for anything. In my philosophy, you chose what you chose, and you choose what you choose, and that's just the way it is. Blame doesn't come into the equation. In my philosophy, those would-be excuses don't even start to get off the ground--in part because there's nothing to excuse. As my book says, there's never anything to forgive. You choose what you choose, and that's it; it's so simple. It is what it is.
Even though success is a choice, when people don't choose to be successful at whatever they pretend is their goal (e.g. losing weight, not cheating, not drinking alcohol, etc.), they find comfort in self-deception and muddying the waters with all sorts of nonsense about blame, shoulds, oughts,musts, needs, external circumstance, bad luck, tries and trying, etc. etc.
Needless complexity is the friend of the liar, especially when the one they lie to is themselves.
An alcoholic finds a lot of comfort in pretending to be out of control and saying all sorts of long complicated other words instead of the one simple sentence, "I choose to drink this drink", or ""I choose to not drink this drink".
He wants to say, "No! Do or do not? No! Do or do not does not apply here. There's tries and trying. There's shoulds and oughts! There's needs and musts!"
The six misery-inducing words provide a lot of comfort to a self-deceiving addict, and all humans are on the addiction spectrum.
Whether you are a sex addict or a gambling addict, whether you a food addict or an anorexic, everyone has their things. Fundamentally, the common addiction is the addiction to comfort. To a degree, all humans are comfort addicts, at least a little bit. All humans get a little trapped in and enslaved by the hellish comfort zone, at least a little bit sometimes.
Addicts find a lot of comfort in pretending that something isn't a choice that is, or in pretending that something is a choice that isn't. Show me someone who is resenting or worrying about that they cannot control, and I'll show you someone who isn't taking full self-responsibility for what they do. Moralizing judgementalism, hate, and resentment (a.k.a. unforgiveness) can all seem so obviously foolish, it's really all just useless counter-productive bitching about the cards dealt in a way that makes oneself miserable, but such things are great at providing mud for one who wants to muddy the water to distract themselves and others from what they do control (i.e. their own choices). The blame-game can seem to be blatantly foolish and irrational, and it is, but it provides a lot of comfort and mud in the water for someone who doesn't have the wonderful joy of self-responsibility and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom).
In other words, addicts find a lot of comfort in the illusion of spiritual slavery and spiritual imprisonment, which comes with a feeling or sense of being a prisoner in one's own body. If you don't want to be honest and say I choose to, why not lie and say you have to. If you don't want to admit you can but are choosing not to, then why not lie and say you can't. It's some measly comfort, at least.
My book firmly breaks those illusions with simple logic and obvious truths, giving the reader the simple easy path to realize the invincible inner peace of spiritual freedom.
Many people would rather dishonestly pretend to be a failure than honestly admit to themselves and others that they are successful at getting what they wanted, meaning what they chose. For example, the adulterer would often rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I failed to be faithful despite trying so hard," than say, "I chose to cheat and succeeded." The food addict would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I had a bad day, so I need some comfort, so I have to eat this comfort food", than honestly and simply say, "I want to eat this, I am choosing to this; and I have now successfully eaten this. I succeeded in eating it!" The alcoholic would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I believe I shouldn't drink, and so I'm trying not to drink", while they lift the glass to their mouth, rather than honestly say, "I am choosing to drink, and succeeding at drinking."
When I say that generally speaking, success is a choice, it's not really so much because failure-choosers choose failure, but rather because those seeing themselves as failures or describing themselves as failures are actually typically dishonest people who lie to themselves and others. Generally speaking, they are not failures; they are successful liars. But the addict finds comfort in the lie: "I'm not a successful cheater; I'm a faithful spouse who is failing to be faithful," they say to themselves (or out loud) as they pull down their pants.
Humans are funny. You gotta love them.
Generally, success is a choice, and thus failure is almost entirely an illusion. It's a very comforting illusion for those who aren't honest with themselves and aren't at peace with their choices and thus lack the true happiness that is free-spirited inner peace. Indulging their comfort addiction is a consolation prize chosen by those lacking the true happiness of free-spirited inner peace.
True happiness isn't about whether you choose to drink or not, whether you choose to eat that thing you're thinking about eating or not, whether you choose to make that booty call or not, whether you choose to keep your pants or or not, or whatever it is for you. Instead, happiness is about honestly acknowledging that it's your choice, and being at accepting peace with that choice.
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.