How important is success to you?
(And what does “success” even mean?)
In the past couple of weeks, I have been approached by a total of two people — who I found out later turned out to be working for the same company — trying to sell me multi-level marketing. Well, they didn’t force me to join them, but they were pitching the idea to me. Multi-level marketing, more commonly known as “networking,” has always had a not-very-good reputation in my head. I have always associated it with business failures and pyramiding scams. I don’t even know where I got all these impressions from, but I think, in general, multi-level marketing just does not have a very good reputation. Since I knew that I didn’t really know much about it apart from hearsay, I decided to hear the first person out. She was actually very friendly and personable, and I learned a lot about the specific system they used in their company. The most important thing was that I wasn’t forced to join them. Still, I was not convinced, so you could say the reputation remained unstained in my brain. Then, a few weeks later, I was once again approached, and had the whole system once again explained to me, in a less personable way than the first one and in a more aggressive way. I honestly found the guy too aggressive and full of himself, and he even said outright that the reason why I wasn’t convinced of the whole networking thing is because I didn’t really pay enough attention the first time it was explained to me, that I didn’t understand it enough. The nerve of that guy. Anyway, I shrugged it off, and let him blabber. I paid attention to him like I did the last time, ahem, but I was quietly judging him. He really was too boastful and he put a lot of personal information about himself — his good “qualities” — that I really wasn’t interested about. If you are trying to pitch something to someone, don’t do it this way! When he was done, however, guess what? I still was not convinced! Well, not only because of his attitude, but also because the whole thing is too good to be true, and, in my opinion, too dependent on so many people, which is a factor that is difficult to control.
But I’m not here to talk about multi-level marketing. I’m here to talk about something else.
What these two people had in common, even though their ways of pitching were way too much of a contrast against each other, was what they were trying to appeal to me.
Specifically, material success.
They were trying to appeal to my need for material success in life. They made sure to mention just the right amount of money to reel me in, to mention the number of cars and the brands of these cars of the “successful” people from the company. The prestige of it all. To which I just inwardly rolled my eyes to, because I’m not interested. It’s not of immediate importance to me that I own a car, that I have millions in the bank. I don’t see “success” — that kind of success — as something important in my life. Sure, there is nothing wrong with aiming for and even having these things (who would have the right to complain…?), but I don’t see it as my “greatest dream.”
Back in my school years, this was what everyone wanted. It was what everyone was trying to instill in us. Adults would tell us that we need to finish our studies to get a good job, to have our own home, maybe get a car, then get another car, save enough money until we become millionaires, aim to be “rich”… The works. Everyone wanted to be rich. It was everyone’s dream.
But I don’t know anymore. I don’t know when things started changing for me, or if it was also my dream in the first place, but no matter how much other people pitch success to me, I just don’t find it appealing or fulfilling. It’s not a priority in my life, nor do I need it to live a happy and satisfying life. I honestly do not understand society’s obsession with success. I always find myself asking, “So what if a person is successful or not? Why does it matter to people so much?”
It’s so strange.
How I look at a person does not really change the moment people tag him or her as someone “successful.” When I judge and make sense of people, I analyze them equally, from the same standpoint. They are all on the same level. Maybe in society, they have different political statuses, but how I see them… We’re really all the same.
Success. Success. Success! I swear that word is everywhere. Who cares?
The guy from above, I was quietly analyzing him as he tried to sell himself to me. He was basically saying that he is an achiever. He seemed to be. He clearly loves the idea of success and is on his way to get it. I could feel that he really is aiming for it. He is ambitious. I could feel his fascination for his colleagues’ successes: I could feel his passion as he listed how many cars his mentor owned, how much money he earns every day. I could feel that he also wants those things.
Well, it clearly works for him. I wish him luck.
I actually asked him, after he finished explaining the company’s scheme to me — because he seemed to intent and convinced with himself and the company he was pitching, but I was still very skeptical about the whole thing — if his job right at that moment, the networking thing he’s doing, would be his work for the rest of his life, after everything he had said. He said yes, and I never believed him. He seemed so sure on the outside, but I swear, I could see doubt in his eyes…
I’m telling you: there is absolutely no way someone as seemingly ambitious as that person would just settle for something like that.