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  • Paula M

How to be successful?

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Well in my own opinion, no one can tell you that. And if someone tells you, don't believe it.


A life is not successful, it is simply lived. A life is not an exam, a competition, or a show. It’s not an obstacle course, either.

And then know that there is not, that there cannot be a single answer to this question, that there is no magic recipe, a winning strategy that is valid anytime, anywhere.


If there are recipes, they can only be valid locally in space and time. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, making a success of life in the USSR and making a success of life in the USA were two contradictory things.

What to do then? Just get caught up in the mainstream?


Let's first try to see the problem. For the biological process of life, being successful in life means (1) staying alive as long as possible and (2) perpetuating your species, that is, reproducing yourself. If, God forbid, you pass away at thirty without leaving any offspring, life will write in front of your name: "Failed".


For your parents, the important thing is to "ensure a future" (successful studies until obtaining a university degree, preferably prestigious) and if you are a girl in a conservative society, you "fit", that is, get married. In many countries, even today a girl who does not marry has failed her life, from the point of view of society and perhaps from her own point of view. The state itself will seek to "fit" you in, that is, to ensure that you become a peaceful, productive "good citizen" who pays his taxes.


So those around you, society and the state have expectations of you. They are all looking to "forge" you a successful model of life in order to "fit" you in. By the time you're twenty-five, you're either a "lucky guy sitting on the train" or "on the platform", cursing your bad luck and wondering what the hell you're going to do with your life. But is that all? Once on the train, are you saved? Are you heading, with a swollen heart, to the "Promised Land", that of "successful living"? Maybe...


Why "maybe" and not "probably"? Because there is you, the “self”, your expectations. You are a player and the cards you have in your hand you have not chosen. You are an actor and the costume you have been put on, the role you have been assigned may not be right for you. You have two solutions: you follow the scenario to the letter and everything will be fine, even if you are bored to death, or you improvise at your own risk.


For example, this has been the life of a member of my family. She studied until the age of twenty-six, finishing her education with a law degree in her pocket. She worked for thirty-five years in justice, acquiring an increasingly specialized expertise making her become a renowned lawyer in her field. She married and had two children, now adults. Her family life was, despite a few fleeting frictions, peaceful and “happy”. From a material point of view, she lacked for nothing, but once she confessed to me that she did not "enrich". She had many loyal and sincere friends. Her work colleagues and colleagues have always appreciated him. Her parents, now deceased, loved her and were proud of her. A successful life? Maybe...


Why maybe"? Why not "definitely"? Because until the age of thirty-five, she confessed to me that she dreamed of living a great love similar to Romeo and Juliet, but she had to give it up to adopt a more "reasonable" solution. Over the course of her professional career, she came to realize that although She love justice, she found music and dancing more enjoyable. She might have been happier if she was a musician, or a dancer. But would she have "made it" in life? Without much luck, she would probably lost financially and maybe would even have been a poor musician.


But she told me if it had to be done again, well, she would give it a try!

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