Inner awareness is more important than success. Without some level of centeredness we are more often than we would like to think, simply robots. Getting up, doing our morning clean up, coffee, work, rush hour traffic, struggle at work, success, interplay with others, then back home, more rush hour traffic to get home and watch TV. This can be done without any real level of being aware, it is simply done. The mind can wander all day from one tape to another, though the characters in the tapes can be interchanged with different people.
Prayer and meditation that is honest and reflective, or if one is secular, a simple practice of meditation, is a way to offset this tendency that seems to be normal for most humans. This allowing the mind to quiet and for simple awareness to emerge, is probably the only way to free oneself from an automaton type of existence. We do have a higher brain, this is the door to transcendence that allows us to respond to ‘meaning’ and to ask questions and seek answers and yes to respond to graces urgings. For me, there can be entire days when I may not have a single personal thought, just inner movies being played out and mindless reactions to outside stimulation. One way to untie the inner Gideon knot is to simply relax in the presence of the infinite light or mind. To set before the loving gaze of the infinite will slowly allow an ever deeper awareness of the higher mind, the observer that can free us from mindless and frantic activity to become a lived reality. Then there will be a new kind of struggle that will allow growth and a deeper experience of life and appreciation of those who are in our lives.