PadmaVonSamba wrote: But if you say, "Oh, it might rain" or whatever,
you are not taking responsibility for your own happiness.
you are leaving it up to the weather.
This goes for both 'poles' (pursuing success and avoiding failure), since the sunshine of success is bound to turn to rain at some point, and in one way or another.
The point is, happiness, or success,
whatever you want to call the mind being in a state of not being restless, but rather, content,
The source of this contentment is the mind itself.
This is primary. It is the core of dharma teachings.
What I said was,
But, we never know what will lie ahead. maybe it will rain and maybe it won't.
So, the point is not the objects that you think are making you happy,
but what is going on in your own mind.
That is where happiness, and thus success, comes from...from your own mind.
From this angle,
happiness does not depend on the success or failure of obtaining something such as money or fame or a car, romance, or anything conditional.
If we look at what dhyanaprajna2011 is asking about,
there are really three things being considered.
the dharma practice of letting go of attachment,
some commonly held notion of success (e.g., big car)
and Low self esteem.
And what I think is happening is (correct me if I am wrong)
dhyanaprajna2011 is saying, (and let me simplify it) "I don't actually need a big car to be happy, to feel successful"
and that's fine, from a dharma point of view.
but then, the issue of low self-esteem sort of creeps into the picture
and we have to ask, "even though that's an issue, does it really have anything to do with not needing a big car (to be happy), or is it a separate, yet concurrent issue?" In other words, low self esteem seems to play a part in the question of non-attachment/success, but maybe that's only because they are both going on, separately, yet at the same time, so they appear to be connected even though they might not be.
And the reason why I suggest this is because,
if you take the commonly held notion that "material acquisition = success" out of the picture
(and we can do this here, because Buddhist theory holds that conditional things do not bring lasting happiness)
then, you have to look at some other evidence of low self-esteem.
Do you really have low self-esteem merely because you are not motivated to aim for things which do not interest you?
I have no interest in becoming a sumo wrestler.
So, is that low self-esteem, or is it simply that this doesn't thrill me?
If all of society told you that in order to hold your head up proudly, you had to be a sumo wrestler,
but that wasn't something that was personally rewarding to you, would that be low self esteem?
So, we have to look at what is the nature of this low self-esteem.
not what you think the cause of it is (bad childhood or whatever)
but what the nature
of it is,
meaning in what way does it actually manifest, and in relation to what.
Then,imagine the mind being content because,
just as it is not attached to having either a big car or an old bicycle,
likewise it is not attached to having
either low esteem or high esteem,
that the true nature of mind, it's original content nature
is actually beyond that.