H. S. Lewis - Attracting Success - The inner Fire
And it is the same today. We have in our modern times the same desire for great success, for individual power, for class power, for national power, for international power. We have the same desire on the part of the humblest individual for recognition, for attainment, and along with it, for a little of the luxuries and blessings that are commonly enjoyed. […] the ones who are attaining success, or who are attracting success to themselves, are those who are laboring primarily under the whiphand of love, under the urge of inspiration, and under the constant impulse of an inner desire to do better and better and better.
You cannot take success in life and reduce it to an element. You cannot take happiness and reduce it to one phase of emotional expression. You cannot take sorrow and say it is of one formula. […] Success for each individual is not measured by a yardstick, but is wholely and exclusively personal. The success for one person cannot possibly be the success for another to the same degree. […].
All success is not accompanied by wealth. The thing we do not have is often the thing that is the most tempting, and the most alluring, and we seldom understand the real nature of anything, especially of material things of life, until we have tasted of it. […].
They are not seeking money, primarily, although everything they may do may help to increase what they already have, but it is not the increase of the money […] that is the real urge, but the desire to attain, to achieve, to reach that goal that they have set in their lives, and to go just a little ways beyond.
If you would say to the wrinkled old woman, like the one in Paris, who worked over radium,
"After all the education you had and all of the glittering possibilities that lie before you, to just teach and lecture and see the world, do you mean to say that you enjoy sitting here?
Do they give you anything to eat?"
"No, not even a crust of bread."
"Do they give you any new clothes?"
"No, I am wearing out the ones I have."
"Does it make you any younger?"
"No, I have aged ten years in the last two."
"Will it prevent death?"
"No, it is bringing it on. That tube contains radium, and it is destroying the cells of my body. I am more dead than alive."
"What is keeping you alive?"
"My desire, my ambition. I want to reach success--success that will not bring me anything but thanks from the waiting multitudes."
That is success from the point of view of one person. Thank God there have been thousands who have worked for such success in the past or you would not be sitting here tonight. […] We are reaping the rewards of those who attained success in centuries gone by. They attained the success; we are reaping the rewards from it. You are enjoying the fruits of success of another. The man or woman who is today seeking success of a selfish nature is seeking something that will never materialize.