The Journey Is The Destination iIn Laurence Shames’ Sweet Smell of Success

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Throughout the life of any man or woman north London, there is an indescribable amount of desire to be successful. Thoughts of Lamborghini’s, Ferraris, or a home on an island too foreign to pronounce contribute to sleepless nights. One’s whole life consists of buying bigger objects and becoming better in hopes of reaching the point where one can say “I am a success”. Success, especially in north London, is not a fixed point rather it is a progression in constructing a lifelong project plagued by an unmatched desire for peer gratification. Success, then, is not the measure of the common three central factors: appearance, status, and career. It is the legacy that is produced by a life well lived that encompasses these factors.
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Similarly, in smaller communities who is known or how many one knows indicates success. Reputation and status is prevalent on every scale of society and in history, how someone is known when they are not present dictates all possible misconceptions. This is seen biblically in the book of Ecclesiastes 7:1 where it reads “A good name is better than precious ointment, and day of death better than birth”. This quotation explains that one must work ten times as hard to produce a proper name than any material possession or luxury; this is most important in the sense that when one passes on only their reputation lives on. In addition, a famous statement from Abraham Lincoln: “Character is like a tree and reputation a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, but the tree is the real thing”. Lincoln makes the point that everything one does should be a reflection of character to produce a transparency between who one is viewed as by friends and family, and who they truly are. As one moves along in life, their reputation fluctuates, how their reputation results will assist in determining the success they exhibited in life.
“What do you do?” Even though the answer should be simple one will concern themselves with adding titles or an explanation in an attempt to say “I am successful” or to ensure their importance to the community. Just like saying “The car isn’t

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