What drives every action of human being is the intention of achieving success in the outcome of that action. Hence, a question like what success means is absurd. There is not one single definition of success that could hold good for all.
SUCCESS IS IMPORTANT TO EACH AND EVERYONE! The decisive factor of how successful we perceive ourselves is how we relate to success!
From the moment of our birth, success is important to us. A student strives for good grades to achieve success in his/her exams, her father struggles at work to enable giving his children a good start in life. The mother struggles at work and at home to draw a work life balance to enable instill the right values in her children.
Why is it that the parents struggle while the student strives to succeed in their respective goals?
Each one of us relates to success differently. This is because we are molded by what our growing environment defined success as. The innate need in each of us to be successful gets us to strive and work for what we identify as ‘being successful’. We pour our passion, work hard, focus completely, push ourselves, come up with new ideas, do improvisations, be of service to and persist relentlessly into achieving the elusive. Yet, many a time remain unfulfilled at the end of achieving that which we have defined as success.
A student, in formative years is like a sponge, eager to absorb knowledge and perform well at school. A student is secure in the comfort, which education will enable him/her with knowledge, which, in turn would open up a plethora of opportunities for him/ her in the future. He is not yet exposed to the expectations the society has from him, the world has from him. Hence, struggle has not crept into his being. And he constantly strives to give his all to achieve success.
The parents, perceive success for their child, as being available out of getting a better start in adult life than they have had. Can we see here that the parents do not themselves, perceive their lives as successful, hence the struggle? How does that perception of success come from? The perception of the parents’ own success in life comes from the environment they have grown up in. Possibly, where the definition to success includes struggle in it. What the environment perceived as success, when not available for the parents becomes their definition of the success they will make available for their children. And the vicious circle goes on so on and so forth.
Another way of looking at success would be when the parents accepted their weaknesses and lacunae in life and worked towards strengthening the weak areas, hence moving constantly towards success. Such parents, would be the confident and successful parents of the child. When the child looks up to his parents, whose self-esteem has not taken a battering, he will produce greater results and will relate to success as a milestone in the journey of life, not a destination to reach, after which all good things in life become available.
Somewhere along the way, during our growing years, we learn to quantify success and complicating it thus. We forget that success is qualitative and relative, not quantitative and absolute. We look at success as a destination, not a journey.
Not being able to achieve what one has set out for is not failure. Failure is not the opposite of success. It is a stepping stone on the journey without which the value of the success would not be as sweet. It is as much imperative to fail several times as it is to achieve success by persistence. Not giving up on the journey, not losing focus, not being dis-empowered, believing in oneself and moving on with the conviction and courage, irrespective of the roadblocks is what defines one’s success, not reaching the goalpost without confronting failures.
We are truly the authors of our own ambitions. We thrive not when we have done it all, but when we have more to do.
For most of us, we like to experience a world, where everything is normal and reassuring and regular, but failure catapults you abruptly over there, into the blinding darkness of disappointment, whereas success catapults you here, just as far into an equally blinding glare of fame, recognition and praise. One of these fates is objectively seen by the world as bad and the other one is objectively seen by the world as good, your sub conscious is completely incapable of discerning between bad and good. The only thing it is capable of feeling is the absolute value of this exact emotional equation, the exact distance that you have been flung from yourself.
AND THAT IS WHAT WE LABEL AS SUCCESS!