Why I climbed Climbing Maya
I suppose one of the first questions a person might have after hearing about Climbing Maya, my philosophical memoir about the nature of success, might be, “Why did you write Climbing Maya?”
You may have heard in my trailer (which you can check out on YouTube) that I had just lost my job, which is a starting point I’m sure many of us approach the question of success from, that being a place where we don’t feel like we have any at all. I was on the freeway one morning and, looking at all the other drivers trapped in Southern California traffic, I wondered if everyone else must be asking the same questions about success that I had.
So, I started asking people what they thought about success. Did they know what it was? Did they know how to find it?
The answers that came back astonished me because they were all very consistent. Nearly every answer took the shape of “Of course, I know what success is.” And when I would ask that to be spelled out, the answer would then become, “Well, I can’t tell you.” Why not? “Because it’s different for everyone.”
So, to recap, everyone seemed to know what success was but nobody wanted to say. And I couldn’t accept that “It’s different for everyone” answer because, even if it was true, it seemed strange that we have one word for something that is different for everyone but the meaning of that word stays the same. (That’s another problem I had; the dictionary turned out to be wrong!)
So, there I was, unemployed and facing the biggest philosophical challenge of my life to date. Pragmatically, I knew I had to find a job. I also knew I’d have some free time in the interim. So, I decided to combine my job search with my search for success, write everything down, and see if I could make it into a book.
That book turned out to be Climbing Maya, which tells about my search for success and the events of my life that helped me understand the meaning of success. More importantly, though, it also finally answers that age-old question, “What is success?”
Who has not gone through a crisis? Who has not heard one door close just to see another open? What do we strive for and why? Why are some people driven to take care of the world and all its problems? What is success and what does it mean to be successful? What is it that we chase after, day after day, and inevitably judge the value of our lives against? Do the old answers of career and money really hold up? Those going through lay-offs, career changes, lifestyle adjustments such as having children, health crisis, or coming back from serving overseas and facing employment with handicaps (both emotionally or physically), and persons forced into early retirement will relate to this memoir.
Faced with unemployment, the impending death of one friend and self-destruction of another, Ken La Salle begins his search for the meaning of success. It’s a search that explores why we still crave success that in the face of inevitable death could be nothing more than Maya, the illusion of life referenced in eastern myth. Through research, analysis and epiphanies from some very unlikely sources, he helps us push through all of our preconceived notions to a concept so few really understand – so that we can reach for the rope, grab it, hold on tight, and pull ourselves up.
This is a book that will be shared, given, and pondered for lifetimes and beyond. Yes, it is all true. This is his story.
You can find out more about Ken La Salle at www.kenlasalle.com. Climbing Maya, An Exploration Into Success by Ken La Salle is now available fr
om all major e-tailers by Solstice Publishing.