Psychic View: Success

By Marjorie Young

When I was no older than eight or nine, I distinctly remember my father alluding to one of our relatives. “He must be worth (x amount) per year.” Somehow, even at that tender age, I was disturbed by his choice of words. Why would someone’s ‘worth’ be equated by the money they possessed? I recall objecting to my father, who explained it was not meant in the way I’d taken it. But I was not convinced, nor am I to this day.

It is an common occurrence now, so many years later, to hear that same term applied. Bill Gates is ‘worth’ many billions. A politician or a celebrity will be described with a similar ‘price tag.’ Nor is this a uniquely modern concept. One of my favorite novels is Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” which was published exactly two hundred years ago. In that dazzling work, the income (or prospective income) of almost every major character is revealed the moment that personage makes an appearance. Therefore, we all know the hero, ‘Mr. Darcy,’ is ‘worth’ ten thousand pounds a year, while his friend, ‘Mr. Bingley’ is ‘worth’ only half that amount (though still to be considered very wealthy indeed).

Now, I personally have no objection to prosperity, and if one is fortunate enough to achieve it, please enjoy it. However, it should not be the measure of self-worth, or the method by which we assess one another. As we know all too well from recent headlines, one can lose everything with a stock-market plunge or a twist of fate. As long as we refrain from concluding that what we possess, or even achieve, is the true evaluation of our essence, we can develop a more accurate sense of ourselves.

The brilliant swimmer Michael Phelps accomplished the near-impossible at the Beijing Olympics…eight gold medals! Yet, as Phelps himself confessed, he later went into a deep depression, unable to savor his triumph. This state lasted several years, until he finally moved forward with the decision to swim again in London, where he became the most decorated Olympian of all time. Of course, there remains the question: ‘now what?!” Hopefully, he’ll discover myriad opportunities and talents outside the pool, and life will continue to unfold in an adventurous, gratifying fashion.

In truth, we must ever look to our core selves, our core values. Love, compassion, positive intentions, dedication, an eagerness to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others…to contribute something to our existence…is what truly gives us merit. We all know of over-achievers in many fields who end up on a dark and self-destructive course. It is not their success that dooms them. Instead what is lacking is a powerful inner sense of self - to secure an anchor that will keep us steadfast no matter what storms arise to drive us off course. It is in living a life replete with direction, meaning, and inspiration, that our ‘worth’ will be revealed.

I look forward to your comments and questions. Please email me at:

Marjorie is available for readings at the Ballard Sunday Market, her Ballard home, or by phone. You can also visit her fantasy/adventure series website at:

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