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Career, accomplishment and attachment

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

It seems to me that one of the things that we attach to strongly is our accomplishments. These are things we have done in the past, where we have spent time and effort, perhaps competed against others, and at the end of that there was something completed, and acclaim from our fellows. Perhaps at the time we felt successful. All of these things cause us to attach to these factors — to places, to people involved, to activities we did.

It is quite subtle and difficult to let go of, and underlying it there is the feeling that we would like more success. It’s the same old desire, in a slightly different face. So when you go back in your mind over your career, the things you have done, and especially if you have dreamt about these things, then you can see the attachment to accomplishment staring back at you.

In a way, that desire for success wants only the best for you, but it is still a desire, one of the Three Poisons which is at the root of samsara. It is part of the mind that keeps you motivated through the everyday slog of existence, but it also keeps you from realising peace.



  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    Yes, this is a huge factor in the US and I assume in most parts of the world too. It is so ingrained in society that I think even well-meaning people can reinforce it or not realize what they are reinforcing. But the other really sad negative effect, besides lack of peace as you say, is that some "unsuccessful" people don't realize their worth as a human being. Definitely something I have struggled with myself.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I've never had a career, although I have always worked in sales of various sorts throughout my working life; my greatest accomplishments have been my two daughters. And I ain't letting go of that one.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @Ren_in_black said:
    Yes, this is a huge factor in the US and I assume in most parts of the world too.

    It is not as much of a big deal here in the Netherlands as it is in the US, there is a different attitude towards competition and achievement. England is a little between those two. I think that in order to really know a country you have to live there for a while, so I won’t presume to mention any other places.

    But I do think it is something you run into if you have known some success in your life. I’m not very success-minded, and even I felt it.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "I" am alive today..... and that's an accomplishment... Am "I" attached to this accomplishment ??? "I" would have to say yes...otherwise "I" wouldn't be here....

    Attachment is part of who "I" am...

    We have all been successful in this regard ...

  • Fail in life, society and snattachments ...

    But succeed in Oneness. One thing. Be a Buddha.
    Really iz plain plan ... Succeed in Dharma.

    Be Dharma.
    Be Sangha.
    Be Buddha.

    Amen ch.

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