Attain vs. ObtainSubtle but Meaningful Differences
So here we stand at the fork in the road. Before us two roads, we must choose only one. The roads are clearly marked; one “Attain” and the other marked “Obtain”. I can almost guarantee that you have never taken the time to explore the subtle but meaningful differences between these these two extraordinary and directive words.
Attain and Obtain can be applied as transitive and intransitive verbs, and although having similar meanings to one another, each has, essentially, a mutually exclusive application. Although both possess the identical suffix ‘tain’, the etymology of the two words is somewhat different, with ‘attain’ being derived from the Latin ‘tangere’ (to touch), and ‘obtain’ from the Latin ‘tenēre’ (to hold).
From their differing etymologies, it can be seen straight away that there is a difference in the meaning of the two words. Essentially, ‘attain’ is applicable when one achieves, or reaches a set criteria or goal, to accomplish something successfully, -to do or finish with success. Here success traditionally requires the combination of Physical and Mental energies. To attain a Bachelor's Degree in Economics, Engineering, Health Science, you must successfully complete a course of specified study. To attain a predetermined level of desired physical wealth or to pile your garage full with Maserati's you must achieve a level of professional proficiency. Whereas ‘obtain’ should be used when you actually acquire or hold possession of something through one’s own efforts, be it a physical item or a notional characteristic. To hold or gain possession of something through one’s own effort traditionally requires the combination of Physical, Mental and Spiritual energies. To assist with understanding, here is a differentiating example; when you attain a successful result, you might not hold or gain possession of your Highest Human Potential.
We are looking to maximize efforts of Obtainment... specifically HOW do we hold or gain possession of our Highest Human Potential. As a sole purpose of life the collection of physical wealth can hardly be considered the obtainment of your Highest Human Potential. Please, do not misunderstand our stated intention here. The collection of physical wealth can be a noble ambition well worthy of pursuit. And Indeed, your Highest Human Potential may come through the applied benefit of physical wealth. As a sense of example, I am specifically speaking in terms of the gained benefit delivered by the use of the wealth which has been achieved by Bill and Melinda Gates. Or the gained benefit of the preservation of art delivered by the use of the wealth which had been achieved by individuals such as Henry Huntington or J. Paul Getty.
SUCCESS Happiness- The Social Push...
The common social push is to Attain happiness through Success. Attaining success suggest that you will finish this as an achievable task. In this sense we are digging in the wrong hole! For you who are reading this book the value of life, happiness, will not be found through the Attainment of Success. Your directive is to push beyond ordinary success; your directive is the Obtainment of Highest Human Potential. In this model SUCCESS is not an end-point of happiness which can be Attained, rather it is an Obtained pathway to happiness.
Becoming successful or being labeled as a success, simply means that you are recognized by the body of work that you have completed in building your pathway. Building your pathway is created by your continual activity of laying the stepping stones in a manner defined by a gained direction and length. In this way, You must determine from the inside-out, which stones of virtue will interlock to make your path of happiness. In this model you own the path, you own the stones of virtue, you choose direction and length. Here in, lies Your Happiness.
The beauty of Obtaining SUCCESS is that regardless of past experience, no matter where you may find your starting point, you can build your happiness pathway. If you are willing to work at it, you can gain that purpose which you have been individually granted and are divinely guided to deliver.
Wallace Wattles - author of the book titled, How to get what you want, once touched on this concept in this way;
“The cause of success is not in the environment of the individual.
Because if it were, all persons within a given radius would be
successful. And, success would be wholly a matter of neighborhood...
And we see that people whose environments are practically the
same, and who live in the same neighborhood show us all degrees
of success and failure. Therefore, we know that the cause
of success must be in the INDIVIDUAL and nowhere else!"
Do not underestimate the significance of this written statement. Before you is a critical clue as to the nature of Highest Human Potential.
Each Called to His Own...
We know this statement to be true because our world is filled with path builders working at many different levels of capacity. Some have been granted the capacity to lay the stones for their pathway by the truckload, some have been granted the capacity to lay the stones of their pathway by the wheelbarrow load, and yet other may have been granted the capacity to lay the stones of their pathway one-by-one.
The Obtainment of your Highest Human Potential is as individual as your fingerprint and is as fragile as a snowflake. In our common desire to live from the outside-in, to attain, to touch as much as possible in our earthly life, we have grown to bulldoze over the fingerprints and wipe away the nuisance of the snowflakes. In reality, we should be living from the inside-out, looking to recognize the value gained through the potential that our fingerprints can offer; looking to deliver the incorporated benefits held through the preservation of snowflakes.