Success Story from a Closet Quasi-Buddhist

I probably define success differently than most.  And, apparently, I am somewhat Buddhist and I didn’t even know it.  Funny what a blog and a little research will reveal. Dayum.laughing_buddha_statue

The beauty of success is that we are all free to define it as we choose…and since this is my blog, well…

Woody Allen quipped that 90% of success is showing up.

I would counter that 100% of success depends what you are showing up to.

On a recent flight home from Reno, Nevada I sat next to a woman named Charlotte who was originally from Denmark.  She was very talkative and, nearly back to our destined tarmac in Burbank, revealed that she just sold her business for 250 million dollars as she was on her way to their Laguna Beach house via the Pickwick horse stables where she rides on occasion. She claimed if she and her husband had waited another 7 years they could have sold the business for closer to 500 million. Though she wanted out. She realized that was not what she wanted to be doing in her life for the next 7 years.

So I asked her what she wanted to do.

“Well, I say I want to do this or that, though I know I really don’t- because if I did know, I would be doing it. I just knew I did not want to be doing that any longer.” (yes, I paraphrase, just in case you are reading this Charlotte).

She could have her 250 million and be successful or strive after the 500 million and be a failure. She got it.

If you are doing what you want to be doing in life you are successful. Success or failure is not a destination it is a realization -a realization that even if you had the power to change anything you would like in your life, you would not –such is success.

I am guessing most people are not “successful” when viewing it in this way.

How then do we achieve success? My formula for success is fairly simple. We find our genuine and heartfelt interests, pursue them with hard work and intensity, loving and appreciating the process, and voila, you would think next stop success -though, wait, like the dish soap of yore, you were already soaking in it (google it kids).

And then I find this little gem from Siddhartha Buddha,  “To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”

I like this Buddha guy.

In my life I have been a successful paperboy, cookie delivery boy, clothing inventory keeper, Hollywood day parade valet, auto parts salesman, geology soil tester, medical equipment mover just to name a few, as all of these things were leading to this point in my life. I wanted to be doing those things at the time for a variety of reasons. Did I want to die doing those things? No. I just knew they part of a larger process.

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

Jeez Buddha you are awesome.

This does not imply that successful people do not get occasionally inflicted with the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” virus nor do not experience days when they would prefer not to get out of bed –everyone is human.   Sometimes this is just enough of a dose of angst to provide sufficient motivation to change our course. Yet the general trait of the successful is they are content in their own skin because success is not found, or achieved, or taken over by conquest; it is not finally getting that big something– be it a bonus or big break; it is found within.

Gawdamn Buddha couldn’t a said it any better than that yo. Well, maybe…

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

It is the feeling of warmly and contentedly wading in the cozy and soothing pools of a life realized.

Often we do not find our career, our career finds us; we do not find our lifestyle, it finds us; we do not find success, it finds us; and, apparently, we do not find our philosophical outlook, it finds us. tumblr_m527zd3qYo1rtczrmo1_500Successful people do not hunt for success, they receive it as the result of passionate lifestyle in pursuit of doing what they are…success is sure to follow.  Success always finds it’s intended targets, we just have to be willing to recognize it.

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

That Buddha cannot butt out of this blog.

It is sad that most of us define success by measuring certain levels of notoriety, fame or economic status –Yet even if we attain all these things in abundance though do not love each moment of our life as we pursue what we are passionate about, under such misguided precepts, we are failures.

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”

Case in point…I am a practicing quasi-Buddhist and I didn’t even know it. Stay true to who you are and you may find it interesting to discover who and what you really are.



  1. Good blog Jimmy,
    A wise man once said “Life is not a destination, but a road.” My road has had many potholes and detours but it is the road I have chosen and it has shaped me.

  2. And ZZ Top once said, “She has legs….and she know how to use them.” Wisdom is just wisdom.

  3. Stay true to who you are and you may find it interesting to discover who and what you really are.

    Thats well and good. But after all these years ive found out im a tuna salad. Oh well. Not every one is destined for great things. Least i go good with cheese.

    • Perception, particularly of self, is funny. Not sure what a tuna salad is in terms of defining yourself, though, even though I love tuna salad, it sounds self-deprecating. I see you as one of the most insightful, sharp, critical thinking minds I have ever met. You are the student in my bullshit blog….you have taught me quite a few things. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. The ever-curious mind seeking answers that do not exist can keep your thoughts busy but unproductive. If the answers sought can not be found then the quest is never-ending. I have no idea what I just wrote means but it is, basically, my entire existence summed up in a couple sentences.

    And the quest continues.

    An oft-heard declaration aboard warships in foreign waters was “Life’s a biatch and then you die.” Most of those present were societal dregs; folks from the lowest socioeconomic levels of USA society. Some to many may view that statement as a negative but for some of us it was and remains our reality.

    And so it goes.

    Have a wonderful week!!!

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