On Success: Thinking Out Of The Box

September 15, 2009 at 11:45 am


John Carter, a baseball writer, wrote an insightful, honest comment in response to my Inspiratus interview with visual artist Marty Coleman. He is a friend of Marty’s from their high school days and he writes of being proud of Marty’s success in the world of art.  John also speaks of his own quest to understand success in his own life.

John’s thoughts really got me thinking.  I believe that his are questions that we all face:  What is success?  Who or what defines success?  According to any number of prevailing definitions, am I successful? If I feel that I am not, how do I find or achieve success?

ANE_Book_Cover_OBC_LGOutliers2As I pondered these questions recently, I found myself being led to re-read two books that have had a huge impact on me.

The first book is Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

The second is A New Earth:  Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.

These books are very different from one another, but both are radical and thought-provoking.  Their authors are each thinking out of the box.

Outliers comes from the outside and looks in.  A New Earth begins on the inside and requires self-examination.

Outliers examines the conditions, backgrounds and opportunities that contributed to the seemingly meteoric rise of certain famous, highly accomplished groups and individuals.   It also chronicles the steady — or radical — improvement in quality of life for certain not-so-famous groups and individuals.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell gives the reader a view into the lives of Bill Gates, Joe Flom (senior partner in a legendary law firm in New York City), Canadian hockey players, and Marita, a 12-year old Bronx girl who beats enormous odds to get a good education — to name just a few.

A New Earth defines success as identifying and following one’s life purpose.  Eckhart Tolle asks the reader to go inside her own consciousness and examine her pre-conceived notions and beliefs about what constitutes success.  He does this through a deep examination of the ego (what some folks term “mortal mind”) and how it acts as a barrier to one’s individual growth.

Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth is a book that begins by identifying the inner, intuitive processes in individual consciousness.  It provides transforming, spiritual thought-tools to rise above and overcome that which holds one back from realizing her potential.

Both authors lead their readers to enlightening and often surprising conclusions, as well as give new definitions for how we may define ourselves and identify our life’s purpose.

I highly recommend these two fascinating books.  Both authors have accomplished transforming, out-of-the-box thinking.  Gladwell and Tolle have each radically busted through the status quo assumptions that pervade our society today and its long-held beliefs about what constitutes success and how one “gets there.”

These books inspire me to think and act… out of the box!  I hope they do the same for you.


Entry filed under: Art, Inspiration, Inspiration Infusion, Inspiratus, Inspiratus Interviews, Inspiring Sites, Spiritual Thinkers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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