HOW TO DEFINE SUCCESS?

Success…. This is something that is a very subjective topic, more so in the modern times. Each person will like as not will have a highly individual perception on this rather hot and debatable topic. There is no easy way to broach this topic; which makes writing some on this, a task of a very high order of complexity. More so, as the past 20 years have seen a huge explosion in terms of career options available, as well as a sea change in personal and family outlook among the people.

 

 

The big question is how to define what is success – in itself a complex task even for just one individual? If we have to do it for a generic population level description, this task approaches the level of impossibility. Further, add to this the current in-vogue term – family life and work-life balance. Add to this potpourri diversity of opinions and options available, and we are looking at a diverse kaleidoscope, painted on a vast canvas of modern life. How do we make sense  of this, is now the key question?

WHY WE CANT REALLY DEFINE SUCCESS!

The answer : we cannot; not in generic terms. There is no easy answer, no ready path – not when the word success is either not properly defined, even at an individual level; or when there is an absence of assessment of capabilities – even at an individual level. To achieve any goal, these two are mandatory: first, a clear direction, {definition in specific terms} of the word success; and two – an honest self-appraisal of capabilities and fitment for the same.

 

WHAT IS NOT SUCCESS:

We can, however, define and describe what success is not, cannot be : earning money, or power, or position, or respect, or fame – these are the outward manifestations of the word success. One or more of these is what you earn when you achieve success. Material tangibles also are not, most decidedly not – an objective of success. Having a house or two, or a car, or whatever – is not success. In fact, these are not even the symbols of success : one can have these even if one were a complete failure, through various unethical and/or illegal means.  One thing is sure : earning these through unethical and/or illegal means is a sign of failure, not success.

 

The reason is simple – you may, for example, build short-term “success” through such underhanded tactics; you may earn money, but if this isn’t sustainable – there will come a day when the edifice will collapse. You may not lose monetarily – or even in terms of position – but that does not take away the fact that your so-called achievements were short term. Success, to be true success – has to be sustainable, morally / ethically / legally acceptable, and long term. For, if your creation fails – people will know you were associated with it. You may then be too big to be called out to your face – but in their hearts everyone will know you failed.  And that is not success.

 

WHAT, THEN, IS SUCCESS?

What , then, is success? Answer is, I don’t know – not for you people, my readers. That is a question that only you can answer, after deep thought and introspection. I can just be a guide, a person who has been through the mill of life for some 40+ years, that is all. I wont even give you spiritual goals, or work-life goals – nothing. I am and will remain silent on these aspects. That is a path for you to build, a canvas for you to paint, and a dream for you alone to build. No one can and should take that away from you.

 

HOW, THEN, DO WE PROCEED?

How then do we proceed?  Answer is understand yourself, and as early as feasible. Don’t go for material tangibles like house and car as dreams; don’t go for spirituality unless you really connect; don’t go for a path as everyone is taking it {there is no faster route to unhappiness, trust me}; the key is understand yourself first. If you don’t get any answer – that is perfectly fine. These things take time. I wish, I only wish, I had asked myself these questions in my teens is all I can say. Connect with yourself – what do you want from life? {Forget that car and house, please}.

 

If you are still studying – understand that subject appeals to you. This has no relation with how  well you do in it, incidentally. Explore your likes and dislikes-  and look for profession options in them. Remember – this will take time. If you are in your 20s onwards to any age, do it anyways. As the answers take time to get to you, don’t rush it – remember the Marathi proverb, ati tithe maati, or haste makes waste. Meantime, learn to exist and survive in your current situation. Regardless of your externally successful you are, unless you are happy and at peace – you are just surviving, remember that. And till this body exists, its needs are real.

 

Slowly explore all options that come to you, and do so deeply, in terms tangible material terms {House,, car, money}  as well  as intangible material terms {personal ability, educational  qualifications, abilities, fitment etc}. Now juxtapose with reality – if for example, developing the dream requires time sacrifice, which can put your current survival at risk – dump it for now. Or for example, you don’t have the money to do the course – and cant arrange it as well,  forget it and remove from mind, and look further. This process, properly iterated and explored – will reach you to your path.

 

HAPPINESS

As regards happiness, spirituality, I can only say this: if what you doing doesn’t give you happiness, you are not on the right path. Be it your education course, or your job. This doesn’t necessarily mean change careers; within the same broad career it is entirely, feasible that you will find a line that suits you. So first thing is accept that things aren’t right, second is survive, third is explore for ways to really grow.

 

CHOOSE CAREFULLY

Whatever option you choose – remember to become the best at it. The movie 3 Idiots is an excellent one for you if you want to understand thils. People should come to you for your professional capability in your chosen field. Now this doesn’t happen only to the rich and famous; even a complete nobody can build a personal repute for being good at his chosen subject-  that is how most of the biggest real successes started. If it gives you pleasure – do it. It may happen that your organization will ignore your skills, but slowly and surely, other people will begin to take notice of your proficiency. And from here how you take it forward is a different story entirely – you have your path, now walk it.

 

IN CONCLUSION, SPIRITUALITY

Last is spiritual peace – my take on this-  this is a calling; and requires a mindset, moral standards, unshakeable ethics, and a calling from your heart. If you do get the call – you will know, if you are constantly open to understanding what makes you tick as defined above. In summary, there are no ready easy solutions for success – this is an individual path for everyone to walk for his or her own self. My only suggestion is to walk it with an open mind, open heart and awareness. The solutions will come, only if you learn to let go, be flexible, engage with the material world and its  developments as pertain to you, constantly stay updated and make a genuine effort. Gist of the above 1244 words: understand yourself, ,and the rest will fall in place…