The Constant Internal Battle…Love or Success?

This is me right now. A daily internal conflict. Inside there are forces “constantly at war with one another…external success and internal value”. I know that the most important things are friendship, family, forgiveness, warmth, solidarity, selflessness, love. I recall a time when these qualities primarily occupied my mind and how, as a result, they radiated from me. But my days now are filled with thoughts of the future. My current job, next job, dream jobs. Startup ideas, behavioral economics, law school. Power, politics, progress. The war wages. Can they both win? I cross my fingers, hoping they couldn’t possibly both lose. I sleep, and awake to fight the same battles, a predictable result never slowing the march. I’ve never been one to focus on happiness, but Einstein had a point: “A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”

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Author: adriandahlin

Graduate Student at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress

2 thoughts on “The Constant Internal Battle…Love or Success?”

  1. Amber, I think you’ve captured that idea of “inner value”. It has to be about living each day well.

    Your comment reminded me that I wrote my college essay about progress. It was an idea very much focused on the present moment. I had concluded from my high school experience–and running especially–that hard work, discipline, and a healthy dose of joy pay off in the moment. It wasn’t until my final semester of college that I began thinking about the future at all, or developed any kind of career ambition.

    Yet it was after college, at the dawn of my still young career that I had one of my most important insights – the article on this blog titled The Power of a Natural Moment.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Adrian, and well said. While I don’t think much in terms of the kind of “external success” he’s talking about, I believe that that comes with greater inner development. I believe that the purpose of every day is growth and development. In the words of Hendersin Rain King, Rudolf Steiner, and who knows who else, we cannot ‘be’ anything, so to speak, but are rather constantly becoming. I like to imagine what our lives and interactions and world would be like if we lived each day this way–if we woke up each day striving for inner development. In a way, then, there is no end goal. So what is true ambition? And if what we’re striving for is nothing but growth and development, then it’s all about the present, eh?

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