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Albrecht Dürer:
The Prodigal Son Amid the Swine (c. 1496)

" … a flow wherein the sense seems to come and go …"

They insist that misery loves company. It might be that every state aches for its similars such that any emotion promotes more of itself; any perspective creates the context for self-preservation and replication. Success seems to crave company, too. Perhaps the best preparation for any Success might come from merely placing one's self in close Proximity to some Success, be that person, place, or thing. Hang out with Successful people, and I might find myself infected with something akin to Success germs, so I might have little choice about whether to feel Successful. It "just" happens. Hang out in a place known as a Success and feel how deep an influence that place seems to exert. Our Successful remodel rendered our modest villa into a relative palace. We live like royalty as a result.

This simple principle justifies a certain discernment and careful judgment when choosing anything.
A casual selection, one made as if the choice didn't matter, might lead to sloppier execution. I firmly believe that discipline matters and probably matters more than obvious. A particular bearing seems essential to avoid engaging too casually. When I see someone slouching their way through a mall while wearing what appear to be pajama bottoms in public, I think I see a failure marching in front of me. Anyone taking apparently unwarranted latitude lacks that certain attitude that might easily attract Success. That countenance screams the opposite. Some decorum one should never cede, and never in public. One need not don the suit and tie to dress for attracting Success, but one should probably always avoid wearing pajamas in public. Just suggesting …

That teacher who inspired her whole class probably exuded a sense of Success. Success itself seems to serve as a strange attractor of like-minded souls. Or, perhaps Success begets in its own image, informing and uplifting those in close Proximity. I do not know for sure, other than to report my own anecdotal experiences, like how I always feel when I find myself in Proximity to somebody famous. I experience a brush with greatness, and some of their Success seems to rub off on the rest of us as they pass. That casual conversation with the Broadway legend following one night's performance, just outside the stage door in the cold and darkness, was a genuine brush with greatness. We returned to our hotel feeling like we were the luckiest people in the world, but only because we were that night.

Perhaps, I just had to wonder; we always were the most fortunate people in the whole wide world and hadn't noticed it until we came in close contact with another of our kind. While it seemed that he was the master dispensing ju-ju to his fans, it might have been more of a two-way connection, that siblings or something recognized some common attribute and stroked it, stoking it. That we are each, at some level, Successes seems beyond question. Some Successes seem more world-class than others, but even the smallest-scaled ones share much with even the greatest. It might be that most of us experience Success as an intermittent and fail to notice its presence within us between the more noticeable flare-ups, but noticing some Successful somebody in Proximity finally brings that feeling out in us. We, doubtless, serve a similar purpose for those we pass. It might be that Success is a dance, a moving in and out, a rhythm, a flow wherein the sense seems to come and go but always lingers.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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