Cure for Success and Failure

This post is on dealing with the effects of success and failure on the ego. Not a philosophical approach, as am usually inclined, but something more pragmatic for those working to make their visions a reality.


Even a meager amount of success can have a disproportionate impact on your ego. A moderate success can push the ego to stratospheric levels. The sense that in the equation of cause and effect you are at the center of it all. Without you as the lynchpin, that everything would crumble. There is it seems little to tether the ego to terra firma.


Failure and its attendant depression are the result of ego too. The sense that there seems no cause and effect that one can discern and influence. Nothing seems of consequence and the feeling that nothing one can do will have a perceptible impact. There is it seems little that can lift the ego out of this mess. 

Both effects are the ego playing truant.

The Cure

I have been afflicted by these foes many times and use a certain technique to guard myself from the excesses of success and the depravations of failure. Imagine you are a point on a straight line. To the left is the negative Infinity of total annihilation and to the right is the positive Infinity of realized superlative possibilities.


Now notice where you are at this moment in time. Regardless of whether you are at the apex or in the abyss, there is always infinite ways it can get better or worse respectively. The trick is to discipline your mind to see the relativity of the situation you are in.

When at the peak of success and you feel invincible know that the peak you proudly stand upon is but a plane to launch you further onwards. And that others have crossed this path before and many more shall cross it after you.

When in an abyss and you feel abysmal[damn, what other word to use?!] know that there are infinite ways in which it can get worse. Your situation can indeed be really bad but there is a place for hope. That there are others who have been through worse and come out successfully.

The key is to be aware of your situation. To decouple yourself from the immediate environs, to step away from all that is, whether literally or figuratively, and view it in the overall scheme and scope of possibilities. To understand that both success and failure are passing phenomenon and do not constitute your identity at a deeper level.

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