I recently read a short essay called “A Streetcar Named Success” by Tennessee Williams, the renowned mid-twentieth century American playwright who wrote A Street Car Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie. The essay talks about how life became a bit disjointed after he became “successful” and started living a life of luxury — living in a hotel and getting room service all the time. He started hanging out with different people, found it difficult to be creative, and just felt more detached from the world.
One does not escape that easily from the seductions of an effete  way of life. You cannot arbitrarily say to yourself, I will now continue my life as it was before this thing. Success happened to me. But once you fully apprehend the vacuity  of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation. Once you know this is true, that the heart of man, his body and his brain, are forged in a white-hot furnace for the purpose of conflict (the struggle of creation) and that with the conflict removed, the man is a sword cutting daisies, that not privation but luxury is the wolf at the door and that the fangs of this wolf are all the little vanities and conceits  and laxities that Success is heir to–why, then with this knowledge you are at least in a position of knowing where danger lies.Tennessee Williams
For Williams, it was only when he relocated out of New York and to a random town in Mexico, where no one knew who he was and he had to struggle a bit more in his daily living was he able to find his creative energies again. While not everyone needs to go to such extremes to keep themselves, his point is well taken.
Even nearly 70 years after it was published, the essay a great reminder that while we often struggle to achieve a life of freedom and ease, we need struggle and hardship to keep ourselves going.
Read the whole thing here: On a Streetcar Named Success
Definitions for some of the more obscure terms: effete = pretentious  vacuity = emptiness  conceits = excessive pride in oneself