Contexts of Success
Our search for meaning changes the meaning of success to us. One outstanding example is Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who experienced the brutal Nazi concentration camp as an inmate and came out as an inspiration to millions around the world with his existential therapy. His bestseller book “Man’s search for meaning” became a reason for many to continue living even under worst circumstances. He spent three years in the camp as a slave. His father, mother, brother and wife were killed in other concentration camps and the psychological factors that he developed within him to find meaning in his life to continue is what he called success.
In his book “The Animal School,” educator Dr. R. H. Reeves mentions that people struggle to create synergy because we don’t know the importance of valuing the differences and those who do, create success stories. The day we start realizing that an eagle cannot be tamed to run like a horse and a horse cannot be disciplined to climb a tree, we will witness success in our own life and others. This encourages us to stop comparing ourselves with others and focus on what we are naturally good at.
Sir, Nicholas George Winton, was a British Humanitarian who rescued 669 Jewish children in second world war and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. He found foster homes for the children and world came to know about his work 50 years later. Among 10,000 kids who were destined to die, these 669 children were ones who could make it to Britain. Many of these children became well known personalities. He believed that his success lied in saving their lives and doing as many good deeds in his lifetime as many possible. The movie “The Power of Good” inspired by his life, won several awards.
Dr. Abdul Kalam, former president of India once mentioned that he understood, success lies in true leadership. It was the chairman of ISRO, Prof. Satish Dhawan who, in front of media, took the responsibility of failure of India’s first attempt to launch Satellite Vehicle of SLV mission.
Dr. Abdul Kalam mentioned that in face of criticism, showing faith in failures is what he called success. It was the faith of Prof. Satish Dhawan whose faith in Dr Kalam’s abilities gave nation a success story. Dr. Kalam became famous as “Missile Man” of India with many more successful launches yet he gave credit to the faith shown in him at the time of biggest failure.
According to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, success is never about a person, it is always about a nation. His philosophy is “nation first”. Nation has witnessed a sweeping change in mindset towards health, hygiene and economy. People feel more power under his governance and this is success.
The success examples given above addresses several questions about what a philosophy of success should be in personal and public domain.
I feel that success in public domain is a function of success in personal domain. Success in personal domain mainly depends upon the level of self-awareness. It is this awareness which reminds us of our existence and the value we are here to add.
As humans, our exceptional power to feel, dramatically shifts the vibrations of the place we enter and vice versa. That is why entering the holy places shifts our state of mind or if a jubilant person enters our aura, our state of minds shifts for good. In general, this is a random process as we are never sure about how the other person is going to make us feel in a strange meet. With such factors existing around us for ages, we now understand why all famous people had ‘Guru’s or Coaches’ who would always work on their disciple’s self-awareness so that they in turn could work on raising the self-awareness of others who come in close contact with them and thereby make this society better and worth with productive developments. Coaches bring success by bringing fresh perspectives on our existing challenges, continually conduct course correction of our goals which improves our productivity and thereby leads us to be focused, directed and decisive.
Paramhansa Yogananda was average in his studies as per his spiritual classic “The Autobiography of a Yogi” but his training with the Guru, Sri Yukteshwar inspired him to spread Kriya Yoga teachings to the west and his tenure in America became a huge success as his self-awareness was at peerless level. As mentioned earlier that public success is a function of personal success, his years and years of training with his Guru resulted in his public success by attracting thousands of people with his speeches at America.
All great minds, be it scientists, leaders or domain specialists, celebrities, athletes, entrepreneurs believe in having coaches and do information exchange through meetings and discussions. It is because the expert and collective pool of knowledge and ideas is more powerful than individual knowledge.
Our father of nation Mahatama Gandhi had a great support system behind him and it was his mentor Srimad Raichandraji from whom he obtained ideas of practicing non-violence and celibacy. Gandhiji while at South Africa exchanged 200 letters with his mentor as per sources (The Hindu). It is mentioned by sources that the content of letters was mainly spiritual which had profound and simple explanations for complex issues. These explanations worked on his mind and victory in South Africa and freedom in India was a gradual and definite process.
As a guidance expert, the above given examples have deeply influenced my quality of thought and living. It always helped me to be in a productive state of mind and thus generate solutions for myself and others. My Coach’s guidance and Guru’s teachings have helped me in realizing that if we constantly remain in a mode of creation, contribution and empathy, balance comes to stay and that’s what means success to me.