July 10, 2008

In the long run

I have been reading a number of books on the 'art' and the process of writing - more about it some other time, once I actually learn how to use the knowledge - but this morning I found this sentence in Victor Frankl's foreword to his "must-have, must-read" book, Man's search for meaning, which is as good a piece of advice as any for budding writers.
Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run - in the long run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.
Too often we give up without waiting for the long run. And too often we forget that success (and maybe happiness too) is fleeting and evanescent.

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