The Ghost called ‘Achievement’

Achievement – Something which is done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.

So, why is it a subject of interest to me? Because what I realized is that this can either help you grow or can be your downfall. Let’s try to share a perspective here because I know a lot of people may not like this.

Say you have discovered something, or invented, or created something. You get all the accolades from your family, friends, and if the scale of impact is very significant, you may receive attention from the world too. After a while, you are working on an extension of your achievement, or a completely new project. What do you expect from your next endeavor? General desire would be that you would expect the same kind of results as your previous activity. Here comes the problem. There is a 50-50 chance that it goes as per your plan. Either the result would make you exponentially happy or sad depending on the basic two outcomes of your actions, success or failure. You don’t want that, well at least I don’t want that for me. Why, do you think? Let me explain.

This is what I have seen people experience when they are too happy :

1) Their imagination, their ability to question things decreases a lot.

2) It makes them selfish, sometimes.

3) It increases their fear of sorrow.

4) Sometimes it may increase their ego.

etc…

Now when they are too sad,

1) They bring down the ambience wherever they go.

2) They try to find excuses.

3) They blame themselves or people.

4) They may disappear if the scale is too high.

etc…

Why is this happening?

Because they are comparing their next activities based on the success of their previous activity, achievement. You don’t want to be worrying on your success or failure. The process is important rather than the results.

This is bad. How have we imagined the activity of ghosts? They latch onto you wherever you go once they come in contact with you right? (No offense to paranormal community). We don’t want our achievement to become a ghost. We need to let go of what we have done as soon as we have done it.

Look at the examples around the world who have miserably failed after achieving something great. Many of them have gone into depression. Let’s keep the names private here. Learn to let go. Learn to not care of your own achievements, accomplishments. Learn to grow into a being who has a big picture, who never lives in the past, who never becomes arrogant, never goes into depression.

If you allow ‘achievement’ to latch onto you, you never move on completely. You are comparing each and every activity with your previous ‘thing’. Letting go of it gives you a power. The power which can make you free from your emotions. Sure, your next big thing also causes you happiness or sorrow based on the two obvious results it will have, but the emotional changes which occur in your mind will not impact the way in which it would have had if you were comparing everything with your previous ‘gig’.

How to let go of your success? It’s not that easy. Human mind is far too complicated for that simple statement. Well we can start by not caring about the gig. What does this mean actually? Does this mean that we have to leave everything which we have worked on? No of course not. What I think by this thought is that when we stop caring about our achievements, our success, we may actually find that we can make several improvements on our work maybe it will open doors to something greater. We don’t want to be stagnant in our lives do we? It wouldn’t be fun.

Your battle is not with the world. Your battle is with yourself, your thoughts, your mind, your existence. You are able to look at bigger picture, you surpass looking at your own self interests which is the problem in our today’s world. Getting a degree, working a job, accumulating wealth, establishing a start-up, employing thousands of people are all great things in our lives. These should not be in self interests. Self interest harms humanity (not humans by the way), makes human lives more important than other forms of lives on earth which is wrong. They too have the same rights as we do (assuming we are not in the matrix).

Letting go of our accomplishments, of our achievements gives you a sense of relief, sense of satisfaction, well at least in my experience of small events. For example, every project I work on, I don’t compare it with my previous projects. Because there are a hundred ways of a project going wrong.

This opens a gate for another aspect.

I expressed my thought of not caring about our previous achievements. This does not mean that you have to forget the path taken for your achievement to have been there in the first place. Your path for your accomplishment to have taken place would not have been a smooth ride. It would have been a wonderful road of learnings. You can always carry your learnings though each of your executions. But you don’t have to carry on your feelings of success with you.

This makes you humble. This makes you more likeable. This reduces your arrogance. This helps in your growth. All in all, this reduces the chances of your mind getting infected by ‘NGIT-V’. (NGIT-V stands for Negative Growth Inducing Thought-Virus.

(This is made up by the way).

You don’t want the ghost busters such as peace, humility, anger management, emotional independence, etc to work extra shifts to get rid of your ghost right? We already have so much to deal with. Plus it would be cool to have such a personality which does not carry  or has very less chances of carrying petty feelings, which always has a big vision for the future.

Past is a very dangerous place. Live in it, you are stuck always. Hence you need to let go of your feeling of success, of your achievement. Sure there may be requirements that you need to speak of it sometimes, but that does not mean you have to live in it, you don’t have to compare everything you do with your past achievement.

I think it is best to let that go. It’s best to bust that ghost.

Longing for achievement is not a bad thing. This is a good thing which drives you. But I think living in our past achievements hinders our growth.

About the author

Balaram

Engineer by profession. Thinker by hobby.

History and Philosophy are my interests. I Like travelling and working out. Not much of a fan of rainy days!

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1 Comment

  • Hi Balaram, A deep and a thoughtful insight on something which is naturally assumed as a positive by everyone.

    Achievement I feel is a demon which starts haunting you from a very young age, where usually your parents are comparing your own achievements with your peers your relatives. Relatives are comparing career achievements or landing a good job in placement with another same age group kid. All along our lives especially in India, our parents and family are the ones who make it a necessity to achieve every step of the way in life, they are not wrong in their perspective they just want the best for their kid, but it’s ultimately the kid who faces this enormous pressure to achieve and keep achieving. When failed to do so ? We hear all the drastic steps kids these days are taking.

    However when we grow up I have a slightly different perspective on achievements, in the capitalist system of corporates and literally everything where everyone is looking forward to utilise a resource until its exhausted completely without letting it to replenish. Achievement helps the person stay above the crowd and let the hard work and efforts be rewarded. Continuous achievements is very difficult when the achievement is not processed properly it can be like an addictive high which can ultimately make a person spiral down to a deep pit which he can never climb out of. To summarise my thoughts achievement is necessary with appropriate maturity in processing it, happiness is necessary, it shouldn’t be the one driving your actions it should be a collateral of our achievements so as to, it doesn’t get addictive and lead way to the negative emotions !

    Long comment 😅, good thought invoking article again Balaram, cheers, keep creating.

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