[Exterior: the park, this afternoon]
[My newphew/grandson-type-boy (shut up life is complicated, focus) and I are playing Mario Kart by running around the perimeter of the playground like it’s the Dry Dry Desert]
Me: Nyoom, etc.! I’m gonna take a shortcut!
Me: [cuts past a swingset to scoop 1st Place, which I will remind the reader is gameplay as intended and also I was gonna let him win, I’m not a monster, I just wanted him to feel he earned it and also not cry]
The Boy: NrrrrrrrrrrrrMRRRrrrrrr, okay, I’m gonna do a shortcut too!
M: Okay, i–
TB: [body-checks my entire ass into a nearby junglegym and EXPLODES past the finish-line]
How do you define success?
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I would say that like all things, ‘success’ is relative, in this case to one’s goal.
Frequently, indeed maybe more often than not, ‘success’ is simply ‘getting the thing done’. This is usually in relation to more quantitative, mechanical goals: walk x number of miles or minutes on the treadmill, get all of those clinic-update emails handled before lunch, hoist one metric pile of bagged cans to the recycling place, etc. Do task, check box, success! These are actually great; mine for today was ‘go to the doctor for my wellness check’, and now I don’t have to do SHIT the rest of the day, it’s great. I had some chicken and I’m watching Star Trek! It rules, and all it cost was some of my bloods! And I can make more of those WITH THE HELP OF THE AFOREMENTIONED CHICKEN! I don’t know how I get away with it!
Other times–my favorite times–‘success’ is, for lack of a better phrase, getting what you want out of something, like finding the exact right soundbite for an episode of my Percy Jackson read-through show The Jackson Two, which in this context means the best soundbite for an editing-joke that will anger my cohosts the most. The most recent one was in our brief interstitial Camp Half-Blood themed TTRPG campaign between The Lightning Thief and The Sea Of Monsters, when William’s character whistled to summon a harpy and I dubbed in the Old Spice tune; that added twelve years to my life, which almost puts me back in the positive against the hours he’s burned off of my soul with his radioactive rage.
Arguably the first is a subset of the second if you calibrate “what you want” to mean “checkin’ off these ding-dang boxen”, but I suppose the reverse could also be argued if you have a checklist-item reading “find the perfect soundbite”. And all that really means is that any thought-technology is just a framework to create the illusion of separate pieces in what is, in fact, a homogenous whole.
END OF POST! Good night, folks.
The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun
I walk a road, horizons change, the tournament’s begun
The purple piper plays his tune, the choir softly sing
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue for the court of the crimson king