Success: What Nobody Else Is Telling You

What Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Solomon and others have to say about achieving success in the world

Truckloads of books, "coaches," and "experts" nowadays claim to be able to teach you how to be "successful."

And after many years of our own research into these matters,
we have eventually come to the realization that some of them are OK,
some are pretty harmless, and many of them suck.

But what is it that almost none of them are telling you?

We're about to tell you.

"I'm not sure I really like the smell of your catnip."

"How did the rich and powerful individuals
who move the earth get where they are today?
Are they smarter? Faster? Better looking?
Certainly not. Some are even short and ugly.

What, then, is their edge?

The answer is simple: they're meaner.

That's all.

And if you want to get where they're going,
you'll be meaner, too."

- excerpt from
What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness

Are you laughing? You think this is funny?

“Miramax, the greatest movie company of the era
(and the most brutal...)
- excerpt from actual news report, Associated Press
(Note: the above was written in the early 2000s,
even before the Weinstein expose and meltdown)

It would be nice to think that hard work, honesty, integrity, fairness, intelligence, keeping-your-head-down-and-doing-your-job, some sense of ethics and character or other such lofty things were the key ingredients for "success" in this world.

But, unfortunately, they're not. Not today.
- and maybe, not ever.

"The great are but too often the ruthless;
where the man endowed with imagination and compassion
would shrink back from an action that would bring profit and power to himself
but misery to others,
the one who lacks this quality of sympathetic imagination
will not be deterred by the sufferings of his fellowmen if he but attains his end...
The meek may inherit heaven, they certainly do not inherit the earth..."
- J. J. Van der Leeuw (written around 1901)

"Deification of success is truly commensurate with human meanness.
Whoever has closely studied even a single success knows what factors (stupidity, wickedness, laziness, etc.) have always helped - and not as the weakest factors either.
It is mad that success is supposed to be worth more than the beautiful possibility which was still there immediately before.

But to find in history the realization of the good and the just, that is blasphemy against the good and the just. This beautiful world history is, in Heraclitean terms, "a chaotic pile of rubbish." What is strong wins: that is the universal law. If only it were not so often precisely what is stupid and evil!"
- Friedrich Nietzsche (written around 1871)

"And in this world of human beings, who are the rulers?
Are they the best and most worthy?
Have those who hold the reins of power, the men in charge,
the barons of finance, politics and economics...
have they been chosen because they are nobler, more generous
and more disinterested than their fellows?
On the contrary, they are the most ambitious, the most self-seeking...
those who hold sway in this world are those who are most suited to do so.
To be sure, there are some happy exceptions, but, generally speaking,
those who are best equipped are those with the longest fangs,
the sharpest claws and the hardest hoofs.
Here and there, fortunately, there are still a few exceptional, disinterested beings
in government and industry, men of intelligence, competence and integrity.
True, but they are few and far between.
- Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

"Some rise by sin,
and some by virtue fall."
- William Shakespeare

"...the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding,
nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all."
- Ecclesiastes 9:11

So, what to do, if you want to be more successful than you are now? Get meaner? Sharpen your claws?

Well, it really depends on what you mean by success, what you want, and what you're willing to do to get it. Because a lot of the time, the kind of "success" that you really have to get mean the end, just isn't worth it.

But if you do decide to become meaner . . . be nice to us. After all, we were cool enough to share our hard-won secret of success with you.

And if you're not...well, we may just have to kill you.

Just kidding. We wish you real success.

The folks at LiveReal

If you liked this, check out...

What Is Real "Success"?

What is Real "Happiness"?

Life Without Regret: Thoreau on "The Real Business of Life"

The Search for "IT"

Why Soft Nihilism Is So Popular These Days

Antifragile Happiness and the Three Little Pig Problem

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