How to be successful in life: The only certainties

It’s the most asked question in history: How to be successful in life. . . well, heck, it’s one of them anyway. We all want to know how to be successful in life, and there are literally thousands if not millions of ideas spread around the world. Ideas on success range from religious beliefs to self improvement tools and techniques to positive psychology and on and on and on.

In some ways, we’re lucky there are so many different ideas on how to be successful in life. But in another way, the number of ideas is actually something of a curse. After all,  which idea is the right one? Which techniques actually work? Who knows? Well, there is one thing about which I’m certain. . .

Thankfully, we can cut right through the crap and come to the rock hard facts of life. As I see it, there are only so many fundamental components for how to be successful in life. Those components are the following:

 

How to be successful in life: The Three Immutable Truths

The following are, in my opinion, the three absolute most basic and most important attribute for how to be successful in life.  I’ve read thousands of ideas through the years, but they all come down to these three points

How to be successful in life Truth 1: Live Now:

If there are any younger people reading this then I hope this truly impresses upon you: live now. Honestly, as a 30 year old guy, a LOT of my time has been spent thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow never came. All tomorrow ever was was an excuse to put things back and back and back. Tomorrow (and time in general) is the BIGGEST lie in the world. You must live NOW. Now is all there is. These days, any time I think about doing something tomorrow I go and meditate on the present moment for at least 10 minutes. Anyway, the point is, tomorrow will never come. Your entire live is held in a magical moment called NOW.

How to be successful in life Truth 2: THIS is THIS:

Anybody who practices mindfulness will know exactly what I’m talking about here. You have to accept things AS THEY ARE. You have to see what is directly in front of your face.

That sounds easy, yet it is one of the hardest things to do. We all see things in a biased light. When we’re feeling positive we see things as we want them to be. When we’re feeling negative we see things as they’re afraid of them being. Times are relatively few when we see a pot as a pot and a hammer as a hammer. See things as they are. Accept things as they are. Only by having the guts and the fortitude to look life in the face will you ever truly gain power over life.

How to be successful in life Truth 3: You don’t exist:

Okay, let’s not go getting into metaphysics or anything crazy like that here, but the simple truth is that you don’t exist. OR, rather, the idea of you doesn’t exist.

What the HECK do I mean by that? Well, the idea we have of our personalities (nice, nasty, polite, rude, compassionate, uncaring, intelligent, stupid. . . ) is nothing more than an idea. People are flexible enough to be anything they choose to be. You should NEVER limit yourself to being a set personality.

To put it another way, let me quote Yoda: “Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” Or let me quote Bruce Lee: “Be like water moving through cracks.” Or heck even Street Fighter (the video game) says the same thing: return it all to nothing (Ryu’s opening sequence in the original SF4). Buddha says it (the Buddhist philosophy of Sunyata), Lao Tzu says it. . . . It all comes down to one thing: you have the capacity to be anything you choose to be, so never set yourself as a concrete-personality.

 

These are the basics of how to be successful in life. Live now. See s**t as what it is. Be infinite (accept your own flexibility and don’t be confined by a sense of ME).

With these three basic fundamental building blocks of success you can build the life you want.

I recognise that I have hastily spewn some heavy subjects on the table here and have perhaps not explained these three immutable truths as well as I could. That’s why I posting this recommended reading list of the best books on each of the three truths.

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