I love this video. Alain de Botton very eloquently talks about the meaning of success. I, personally would not express my thoughts so well. I recommend you watch this video for insights on how our modern age might have changed our perceptions of failure and success.
Alain is eloquent and funny and listening to him makes you more relaxed about life.
However the most valuable part of the video (from my perspective) is where he talks about defining what success means to you. It goes along the same lines that I believe in. He underscores the need to define success based on your own ideas and not what other people think (that is not always easy since we are confronted by massive societal pressures, like family, friends, advertising etc.)
When I talk about setting goals, I emphasize a thorough evaluation of what’s really important to YOU. Setting goals will only benefit you if you really create your goals based on your core, based on questions like:
- Doing what, makes you most alive?
- Doing what, do you find most exciting?
- What drives you?
- Doing what, are you absolutely passionate about?
- Doing what, makes you lose track of time?
- Creating what, makes you feel like million bucks?
There is one thing I don’t particularly like about Alain’s presentation. He talks about unpredictability factor in life. And it is a fact: Life is not fully predictable due to accidents, natural disasters, diseases, unintended consequences of our decisions etc.
But we should not use unpredictability of life as an excuse for not setting goals and not achieving our vision for a better life. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in our world, but when you look at history of humanity there have always been those who set goals despite of fear, unpredictability and all the things that might go wrong.
Let’s call it a challenge. Let’s call it curiosity. Your goals might work. You might achieve them. You might discover things, that you don’t know about right now.
Yes, life is unpredictable, but great people will always keep trying. Keep dreaming. Keep setting goals. Keep applying a focused and massive action to change their life. It will sometimes not work. You will sometimes fail. But don’t succumb to the “Life is unpredictable, so I won’t set goals” philosophy.
That would be the ultimate failure.
I wish you are great.
Go for what’s important and exciting to you.
PS: What do you think about the video. Do you see it’s message as constructive or destructive to human spirit? Please comment below.