George Carter
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Proof That It Worked Out

| Friday 1st December, 2023

I’m on an extended sabbatical at the moment and I’m burning through savings.

It’s a little uncomfortable, but I’m also feeling better mentally, emotionally and spiritually than I have ever felt in my life.

The ‘traditional’ view of success might say I’m not succeeding. Or that I’m heading for trouble. (And believe me, my mind has gone there too).

But how do we measure success? How do we know when it has worked out?

We’re playing an infinite game here (okay, not infinite, but it’s not about this win or that win). We don’t know if the particular terrible time we’re going through right now is sowing the seed for amazing things in the future. We don’t know if our success and comfort now are making us complacent to future crises.

We can never know if we’re going to succeed. We don’t know what the future holds, and we can’t know.

So we do the best we can with what we have, where we are.

And it might not look like success to those with different values from our own. It might look absolutely insane to others, in fact. It might even look insane to parts of our own psyche.

I swear the only place you can ever measure your ‘success’ is on your death bed. Benedictine spirituality talks about this… aiming for the ‘happy death’.

Imagine lying on your deathbed and saying to yourself “If only I’d had the courage to do that.

That’s the position I don’t want to be in. No regrets. No unfinished business (as far as possible). If I die today or in two hundred years’ time—who knows where medical technology is going—then I want to be at least happy in that death.

To lie on your deathbed and say “Yep. I’ve done alright there” must bring the ultimate bliss as you surrender to the void.

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