A deeply profound and thoroughly significant success


I live in a grey world. No one is ever 100% guilty, and no one is ever completely innocent. Life is beautiful, and life is merciless. Life is sometimes fraught with patterns and deeper meaning, and sometimes there is absolutely no sense or reason to life. People die, but they don’t quite disappear into the nothingness. You stay the same, and sometimes you change so much that it is ridiculous to suggest that you are still the same person you used to be.


Certainly there are people who say: “My name is John Smith. I have read and heard people talk about finding your true self, choosing your own name and things like that, and I know my name is not who I am – but it works well enough for me.”

Also: “I’m not always sure what is meant by the idea of having an agenda. I don’t know if I also have what some people call, a personal agenda. I do work for a cause I believe in. I do my best to assist people who are struggling to keep their heads above water. Whether my name is John or Tom, or Uncle or Brother, it matters less than my share in this struggle. Personal agenda? I think some people focus too much on themselves.”



I am surviving. I eat lots of vegetables and chicken and fish, and I drink lots of tea and water. I ride my bicycle and do exercises in the morning. I drink very little alcohol, and I stopped smoking.

I am surviving, but I won’t say I’m maintaining the same quality of life as before. I have little social contact with people of my age, and I rarely enjoy social recreation of a kind common among people who superficially can be regarded as my socio-economic peers. Almost forty months have passed since I had last seen my family. I have no cash to fall back on, should I accidentally fall off my bike, or more likely, if one of my teeth should suddenly fall out of my mouth. Lastly, I am pulling through each month by the seat of underpants with way too many holes in them – and I am no longer 19 or 28; in all honesty, I expected to at least be pulling through by the seat of better quality underwear by the time I reached my late thirties.

[Editor’s note: The last reference was an unintended mixed idiom of “flying by the seat of your pants” and “pulling through by the skin of your teeth”. What I meant to say was, of course, money was extremely tight, which in Afrikaans is expressed in the word, “broekskeur” which literally means “torn pants”.]


Money is the measure, everybody knows that. That is why violent, psychopathic members of organised crime syndicates are considered successful by a significant percentage of society, while poor but talented artists are regarded as failures by many people.

The fact that violent, psychopathic gang members are also feared by the general public, and locked up whenever possible, is an indication that the story is somewhat complex.


I am currently trying to change the view that my life has only been about money since early 2006.

Here is another opinion: If that is true, if my life has mainly revolved around trying to make money the past more than three years, is it really that surprising that it hasn’t been a roaring success?


Without something specific that I must do – a project, or a specific part of a project – I feel ridiculous, lost and unsure of myself.

In other words, if I am not actually working on something, I feel unsure of myself, unsure of what I’m doing with my life, and even uncertain about the value of my existence. (What can I say, things easily get out of hand with me.)


My subconscious is like a three-year-old child (albeit a pretty powerful one) living in the here-and-now. This “child” believes my current life is survivable, okay, and comfortable enough.

That it is not sustainable for many good reasons does not bother this “child” at all. All he is interested in is whether the here-and-now is safe and comfortable.

Well, nothing is threatening my person at this very minute, and I am sitting on a fairly comfortable chair.

Good enough, thinks the “child”. Hence, no need for change.

Which brings me to the present moment, forty months later.


Let’s be honest: What I have gone through since 2006 qualifies on many grounds as an utterly complete, deeply profound and thoroughly significant failure.

I say this with the greatest respect for myself. I say this with an open heart and a good attitude, because I know the road ahead looks good; I also know the road behind me is part of my life story.



Think of sensory reasons why you would want to succeed financially. Think of sensory rewards of financial success. (Imagine you are successful. What do you smell? What do you see? What do you feel under your fingers? What do you taste?)


There is, I suspect, “something” in me that prevents me from succeeding financially. Let us for the moment call it, “IT”.

I, together with my subconscious, my rational mind, and my creative nature, will destroy IT.