Is it possible that our drive for success suspends or even ceases our desire for discovery … our sense of wonder? In a world obsessed with methodology and efficiency we can easily lose sight of true effectiveness. We hunker-down on execution with a complete suspension of wandering and wondering. There will always be a place for “focus” until our “focus” becomes an obsession that blinds us. And success is often touted as the result of extreme focus.
Yet, in celebrating success, the real cost can go unnoticed.
In a world now highly equipped for measurement, that success is often tied to what can be measured. A statistic or a title or a deal. And to achieve all of this, it often translates into speed and busy-ness. Wonder doesn’t lend itself to measurement.
I once had a boss who bemoaned, “there’s just no time to think around here anymore.” Knowing him well, I knew what he really meant was “there’s no longer any time to wonder.”
It can happen when success becomes the be all end all.
Maybe that’s why Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and mystic, shared this fair warning:
“If I had a message to my contemporaries it is surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success. If you are too obsessed with success, you will forget to live. If you have learned only how to be a success, your life has probably been wasted.”
I’m wondering if that’s because success can rob you of the gift of wonder.
And, as always, I’m wondering about your thoughts. Please share below!