Instead, Will redefined success for himself as winning in such a way that others are satisfied with his success. This implies not only excellence but also magnanimity. It’s like when opposing crowds would give Michael Jordan standing ovations. Or when fellow golfers would congratulate Tiger Woods on his shots. Or, you know, when conceding politicians used to say nice things about their opponents.
~ Mark Manson from, https://markmanson.net/3-life-lessons-from-will-smith
I’m reminded of zero-sum games, versus synergy. My definition of success precludes my participation in zero-sum games. I find that Mahatma Gandhi’s, “an eye-for-an-eye just leaves the whole world blind,” brings clarity when I’m uncertain. I often joke, “chaos? disorder?! …my work here is done.” Joking aside, and truth be told, I like to imagine leaving a wake of joy and improvement as I move through the world. I’m also reminded of…
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children […] to leave the world a bit better […] to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Part 23 of 37 in series, Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
The keys to life are running and reading. When you’re running, there’s a little person that talks to you and says, “Oh I’m tired. My lung’s about to pop. I’m so hurt. There’s no way I can possibly continue.” You want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running. You will know how to not quit when things get hard in your life. For reading: there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.
~ Will Smith
Coming up short because of half-measures is not a problem I have. On the other hand, I am stubborn to a fault. Sure, I’m not stubborn every moment of every day, but I can easily muster my inner Bulldog when I need to dig my nails into the earth and push through things. I don’t think anyone has ever called me a “quitter.”
Self-injury? Behavior corrosive to interpersonal relationships? Mindlessly bashing myself on challenges both mental and physical? Being critical of others from a myopic view-point? Wearing my stubbornness as a badge of honor? Pride? Hubris? On all counts: Guilty as charged!
Clearly, I should continue to practice dialing-down the stubbornness. But, is there an appropriate amount of stubbornness?
Is play, or joyfulness, the key to finding the balance?
If I’m happy and having fun, does that rule out being stubborn?
Thibault’s section is urging us to avoid half-measures. But maybe I should occasionally practice putting in only a half-measure of effort. Maybe — just to practice not following through — I should try abandoning something for no particular reason?