There is No One Size Fits All Answer to Success

Did you find out? I don’t know when, people around me seem to have fallen into a “strange circle”:

When you are studying, you must strive for the upper reaches, show positive performance, and prepare for future job hunting;

If you enter the society in your early twenties, you must enter a big factory and a “good unit” in the eyes of others;

In my thirties and forties, I am afraid of being abandoned by the times and being left behind by my peers, and I want to earn more money and have a higher position…

Under the so-called “success model”, everyone is chasing each other desperately on a road that is getting more and more crowded, and the more they live, the more tired they are.

We are tired and hesitant, but we can’t stop; we work hard and self-discipline, but fall into deeper anxiety.

However, is this really the only way to go in life?

As early as more than a hundred years ago, the writer Thoreau gave his own answer in “Walden Pond”: “As many radii as can be drawn from the center of a circle, there are as many paths of life. ”

Just like a circle has countless radii, in fact, there should be thousands of choices in life.

You must be very tired if you are coerced by “success study”

Someone on the Internet asked: How do people get tired at every age?

Many people say: because the outside world tells you: every age has something to do.

Yes, children compete for high test scores and learn talents, and they have to win at the starting line; adults also have various papers, and they all strive to make a difference before the age of 35.

Today, with the proliferation of success studies, there are too many things people “should do”.

You have to be excellent in character and learning to stand out; you have to have a successful career and a happy family. It seems that any step that is not kept up will be labeled as a “failure”.

But in fact, the more you blindly follow the footsteps of society, the easier it is to lose your way and be at a loss.

Just like Thoreau tried hard to “success” before he went to Walden Pond, but he was physically and mentally exhausted.

He was admitted to the Harvard Faculty of Letters in 1833, dreaming of embarking on the road of literature after graduation.

At that time, the United States was in a period of economic upswing. The society only favors people who “can make money” and look down on literary youths like him.

So after graduation, Thoreau and his brother opened a private school, and later ran the family business with his father.

He is busy with entertainment every day, but also has to worry about business, and his whole life is exhausted.

What makes him even more sad is that he has no time to read and write at all, and he has no fun in life.

For a few more years, Thoreau went to work in the society, working as an editor and supervisor successively.

However, when he was an editor, he was not recognized by the editor-in-chief, and when he was an inspector, he was eliminated miserably.

It can be said that when he was young, Thoreau, like you and me, lived a numb and tired life.

At that time, he was tired of learning about success, and aren’t we also trapped in “standard life”?

You want to march towards your dream and do some freelance work, but under the persuasion of others, you still work as a company employee;

You want to be a full-time wife, but under the pressure of the outside world, you bite the bullet and do a job that is not suitable for you at all;

You want to live a life of small wealth and peace, but in the comparison with your peers, you are desperately trying to make more money…

Many times, embarking on the so-called “successful” road is not our original intention.

It’s an era of anxiety, where waves of recklessness engulf you and me.

We dare not go against the trend, live as an alternative, let alone face our true selves.

In the end, they were all lost in the hustle and bustle and processed into the same pitiful appearance.

There is no standard answer to success, and so is life

Thoreau, who had had enough of this “standardized” life, resolutely gave up everything and came to Walden Pond.

He built a log cabin by the lake, reclaimed a few pieces of wasteland, and tried to find the essence of life and the answer to life again through labor and thinking.

There, he met a very interesting friend.

He is a poor woodcutter, living alone in the forest, poor and white, powerless, and a loser in the eyes of everyone.

But it was this person who lived an extremely comfortable life and was very happy every day.

Thoreau asked him, wouldn’t life be boring like this?

The woodcutter said, “I am very happy to be able to chop wood here.”

He can make all kinds of gadgets out of wood, and play with the little animals in the woods.

Birds would sit on his palm and eat beans, raccoons would hide in his house and warm themselves by the fire, and turtledoves would fly around with his pipe in their mouths.

His friends are not among men, but creatures of nature.

His wealth is not real money, but the joy of his heart.

After hearing the woodcutter’s story, Thoreau couldn’t help feeling: “The way people praise and think success is just a kind of life.”

We always think that living in a villa, driving a luxury car, earning a million dollars a year, and having a net worth of more than 100 million dollars is success.

However, being an ordinary person and living a comfortable life is not another kind of success?

A few days ago, I was chatting with my friend Xiao Chen.

I learned that he had just quit a stable job and switched careers to start a self-media, cutting videos and writing copywriting at home.

At first, I was very puzzled. Like others, I accused him of not cherishing and destroying his future.

But after chatting, I realized that he was not impulsive.

In the past few years, the competition in the industry has been too intense. He stayed up all night throughout the year and was overwhelmed by the “last elimination”. He suffered from fatty liver when he was less than 30 years old .

After resigning, he began to seriously think about what he likes and where his talents are.

I feel that I like to create, and I am also good at communicating with people, so I tried to start a self-media.

After a period of exploration, he has now built his own platform. Although he can’t make a lot of money, he can at least support himself.

The most important thing is that he is no longer anxious and confused, and lives a very self-consistent life.

I like a saying very much: “Everyone’s life trajectory is different.

It’s right to push forward on the Sunshine Avenue, and it’s not wrong to enjoy the scenery on the sheep’s intestines path. ”

Just like the people in the Douban group “Anti-Social Clock”, they can live in seclusion in the mountains at the age of 20, quit the factory at the age of 30 and go to the farm to pick blueberries, enter the university at the age of 48, and start learning painting at the age of 60…

There is no standard answer in life, and there is no standard definition of success.

You will never find your way on other people’s maps.

As long as you grasp your own rhythm, any kind of self-consistent life is success.

True happiness requires few things

The poet Emerson once said: “There is no American who lives more truly than Thoreau.”

When everyone was enslaved by “money worship” and turned themselves into a money-making machine, Thoreau was able to give up his desires, fame and fortune, and live in the way he liked.

In contrast, his bravery and frankness are the real wealth.

During more than two years of living by Walden Pond, Thoreau lived in a log cabin.

He owned very little, but a knife, a wheelbarrow, a lamp, and a few books;

His food was rough, but rye flour, corn grits, wild berries, soybeans;

He made almost no money, and spent even less, eight dollars and forty-seventy-five cents in two years.

However, this kind of poor life in the eyes of outsiders is the life Thoreau really yearns for.

During the day, he goes boating on the lake and watches the lake birds play, or sits on the hillside and watches the ants fight, or walks alone in the forest, picking up some wood and wild fruits to go home like a treasure hunt.

In the evening, he would either read a book quietly, write in a diary, or go for a walk outside to feel the ultimate tranquility.

The winter at Walden Pond is very cold, and there are often blizzards. Thoreau lit a fire in the house, thinking and writing at home.

And when summer comes, he is like a free bird, wandering aimlessly in the wild, or going a long way to visit friends.

In this way, Thoreau lived out his dream in the four seasons of nature.

But what supports this kind of happiness is not the huge wealth, but the inner abundance and the courage in the bones.

Thinking about ourselves in turn, we have far more than Thoreau, but live a boring life.

In the era of quick success and instant benefit, the success we look for is a kind of “have”.

There is a house and a car, fame and fortune, money that can’t be spent, and material things that can be used endlessly.

We are kidnapped by material desires, like a “snake”, hunting around non-stop.

But in a world of conflicting interests, if there are many, there will be few; if there is rich, there will be poverty; if there is success, there will be failure.

No matter how hard you try, there is always someone better than you.

This is the source of our growing anxiety.

What exactly is real success? How can I make myself happy?

In fact, Thoreau has already given the answer.

That is not to be a slave to desire, to jump out of the worldly framework, not to envy others’ gains, but to follow one’s own heart and go one’s own way.

Sensuality has never been a standard in life.

Only by starting from the heart can people go where they want to go.

There is only one real success in this world, and that is to live your life in the way you like.

write at the end

Someone once asked on Douban: “Why do you keep reading “Walden”?”

Someone summed it up like this:

“Walden Pond” is a sanctuary built by Thoreau. Whenever you are tired or bored, just turn over a page, and you can temporarily stay away from the anxiety in reality.

Under the urging of the “social clock”, we are always running forward desperately, eager to grow up and make money.

But after working for half a lifetime, I realized that I have already forgotten what is real happiness and happiness.

If life is a test paper, there will never be only one answer to success.

Because people are different, we all have our own feelings and pursuits.

Instead of being uniformly processed into “unhappy” successful people, it is better to love what you love and do what you think like Thoreau.

Live like a tree in the field, boldly grow your own shape, and have your own “Walden Lake”.