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Access Is the New Success

Posted on September 10 2015

Success is in the eye of the beholder. When I consider how success changes one’s life, I sometimes think about the spoils you have access to as your worth grows. You’re invited to events you’d otherwise be denied. You meet the celebrities you idolize. You never wait in lines. People open doors for you. And you fly a lot more. All of this without having to pull out your bankroll. And what good is money when your essentials are given to you free for the rest of your life? Clothes, food, products, services….everyone wants your endorsement, so your basic necessities are basically taken care of.

Measured by this (limited?) vantage point, I’ve pretty much had no success. So I think about this topic with an imaginative mind, not a judgmental or been-there-done-that one. But it’s hard to see success as anything but access, however glorified we make it. The more successful you are, the more access you have. Access equals more opportunities. More opportunities to make impacts, to make connections, and to have more experiences. However you slice it, access is a privilege that can spoil you, soften you, or exploit you.

If we break it down and use the term access as a practical stand-in for quantifying success, then wealth is merely a byproduct of success and not the yardstick by which to measure it. And that’s something I can get behind, as someone who just wants a chance to showcase what I’m made of, learn new things, and travel to new places.

I don’t crave wealth. I crave a platform. A platform that grants me unrestricted access to reach an engaged audience. To share my art with your heart. Once I’ve got a platform, you can throw whatever success labels you want to on me. Until that point, I’m a work-in-progress; a constant series of iterations.

Like the paradox of how, as we live, we also die, perhaps success is really just being very good at delaying an impending failure. Because failure, like death, is certain. You’ll for sure fail in some area of your life. You won’t give all the people that matter to you the attention they deserve. You can’t adopt every unwanted, abandoned child in the world. And you haven’t cracked time travel yet.

If ever I achieve success, excuse me, access, my genetic makeup demands that I never stop exploring. Never stop creating. Never stop attempting new feats. At my most comfortable is when I’m my most daring because my mind is free of debts and distractions. When I’m uncomfortable is when I’m brought back down to earth, doubtful, and petty. So I really don’t have a choice: I’m burdened with glorious purpose I suppose. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better for me to look at access as the new success.


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What Do You Think?
  • Darnell: September 17 2015

    @ Lucy, I’m very happy that this post connected with you in this way. And I agree with your sentiments. The dualities of life are omnipresent, I find, and are a marvel to think about and process. Some how, some way, my work has accessed the lives and hearts of people such as yourself…a privilege that I’m thrilled to have.

    Knowing that we all go through certain failures and setbacks trying to reach a success, we definitely have to make sure the trade-off is worth it. For me and my small team, since we are starting to make a living being ourselves and inspiring people, we end every night with no regrets. The access is worth it!

  • Lucy: September 17 2015

    I really like this post. My favorite statement is, “Like the paradox of how, as we live, we also die, perhaps success is really just being very good at delaying an impending failure.” I’ve never thought about it like that. Success does not mean perfection or stagnation. It really is access to other opportunities, and putting yourself out there will at some point lead to failure. This makes failure seem like an inevitable part of living a full life instead of something to avoid at all cost. What a much better way to look at things.

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