Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0112, March 1, 2017


How to Succeed Every Time

An example of a successful kaleidograph. According to Prickles, this kaleidograph succeeds
because it is just the right mix of harmony, contrast, simplicity, complexity, order and chaos
but above all, it has that certain "je ne sais quoi" that makes art Art. So says Prickles.

Copyright 2017 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     "Success" is a relative term. Before one can succeed, one must first state one's objective. Success is defined as achieving the intended objective, which may or may not be a happy occasion. The objective, once arrived at, inevitably turns out not to be exactly what we intended. To a greater or lesser extent that is universally the case. Sometimes success can feel like failure. And vice versa.

     The art of succeeding every time ("failure is not an option") which is practiced by some compulsively successful people, necessarily involves skillful and convincing reassessment of the situation actually arrived at as exactly what was intended. Some forcing of the past and present facts is required. This technique is known as "Fake It Till You Make It". (Even if you never make it, FITYMI can sometimes carry you for a good long while before things implode.)

     For the compulsively successful faking is necessary in every instance since we never actually make it, not 100%. Of course, for practical purposes 100% success is not required but the optics of merely partial success are not acceptable to those who insist on nothing less than total success. Hence the need to fake it, to make 55% look like 110%, one more among a multitude of unnecessary self-deceptions.

     Prickles, our resident philosopher, likes to point out that while expectations of 100% success are unnecessary, unrealistic and downright harmful, the opposite attitude of joyfully welcoming imperfectly predictable results of our efforts to succeed as a challenging adventure in an ever new, ever wondrous and ever changing world, is actually the secret of happiness. But that's Prickles, the eternal optimist. There are also those who now, as ever before in the history of the world, believe it is going to hell in a handbasket. They may or may not be right, but Prickles and I are determined to enjoy the ride. That's our objective and so far we're succeeding.


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