The illusions of prestige

Written 3/8/2019

Why is prestige, recognition, and the trappings of financial success so damn appealing?

Why am I unable to see them for what they are? Distractions. False. Illusions.

Once satisfied, gone within the next breath. Until, of course, the next one appears and the process begins again.

I received notice this morning that I had been given a prestigious award. Not only do I have zero ideas about what merits the award being given to me, but I have also zero feelings of pride having received it.

I haven’t really accomplished anything meaningful, and yet, with this award, the outside world is given a lie as to my accomplishment.

But all of that aside, I love the feeling of winning. Of being recognized. Of being important. Simply this award has made me re-think my entire career decision…and I’m not even sure WHY I received it.

Although I must admit the feeling is a rather good one, the path it leads me down is one in which I will constantly be vying for external validation at the cost of doing something meaningful.

Why do we ambitious people become so entrapped in the hamster wheel of prestige, power, and material gain? Why is it so important for us to be viewed as smarter and successful? Even at the cost of adjusting our aims to better align with the outcomes the outside world believes we should be judged on.

How does one break free from these trappings and truly seek intrinsic validation and begin to pursue the things in which success is but a byproduct of purpose?

Is one ever able to break free from the need for external validation?

My fear is that if I try to break free, my life will cease to be a success. I will be leading my family towards financial destitution and I will become a depressed man.

Which leads me to the question…is it better to be financially secure, without meaning in what you do, or broke, but filled with daily passion for your craft?

I guess it will probably depend on what you define as better? Better for whom? Your ego? Your family?

For your entire life, the world has given you neat answers to these questions. The world has given you a blueprint to follow that will lead to success in life. However, I’ve found that this blueprint is the instructional manual for a house of cards…

And once you realize that, then what? How do you start to construct a life that is both meaningful and logical?

You must seek wisdom. Seek wisdom where it has always been found… religion, nature, philosophy, and your own subconscious.

It won’t be easy.

But the day will come when you have created a compelling future for yourself and life ceases to become a script handed to you by someone else.

It will become an original score that only you could have created.

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