Over the many years, I have seen, heard and read many experts and their outstanding literatures that define success in various ways. The one that has appealed me the most goes like this: “Success is achievements recognized by people”. Consequently, I have inspired thousands of young students, professionals and other aspirants to realize that success indeed is not a personal but people’s perspective.
In this jet age, where most people, regardless of their profession and practice are busy rubbing their shoulders with each other in gaining name, fame and prosperity, this unique definition of success will not only help us view our activities in a new light, but bring about the much needed solace, peace and harmony in our personal and social setups. Therefore, in this article, I shall first draw your attention to how this unique success definition actually stands out amongst the prevailing ways in which a common man is able to view success. Not only a student, but even the educators of the current era need to redefine their own roles as well as the teaching and communication strategies in light of this positive, responsible and comprehensive viewpoint. Having established this distinctive and wholesome feature about success, I would, in the second step, recommend a few important paradigms, which according to me, are rather necessary for realizing and adopting this valuable idea about success. Finally, then I shall go to suggest a few action steps, which I am convinced, one needs to follow in order to be happy and prosperous. I must clarify a possible confusion at this point.
The viewpoint that I am attempting to establish and convey is neither new nor original. I do not claim any right on this concept. However, I have learnt this from my life’s experiences- by both gaining while following and also paying heavily while overtaking it. As the speed of modernization has been steadily causing a drift in the mindset of the people of this generation by taking them away from this principle-centered attitude, my attempt here is only to foster a spirit of tuning in order to restore and channelize it.
Therefore, this article will be covered in three steps. These are:
1. Analysis: a comparison of the common mindset with this recommended one.
2. Anchor: instilling a few principle-centered paradigms for exalting the aspirant’ mind to this higher realms.
3. Action Steps: some concrete action steps, which an aspirant need to follow.
The man of this age is busy in keeping pace with the speed prevailing in the external world. For him, achieving success has almost become synonymous with having to stay ahead of others. Accordingly, his mind is grossly preoccupied with the compulsion of having to prove to his own folks and rest of the world that he was better than others. Ironically, appreciation of his own worth to himself rests on how another person is able to appreciate his worth. In short, success in today’s context essentially means competing with his fellow men and being ahead of them. It is all about a struggle, save war, with people around. Can you see the results? This micro war has inevitably percolated in the form of macro warfare between countries, communities, races and religions. Yes, religions— all of which, without exception, have from times immemorial been preaching the eternal values of oneness, humanity, brotherhood, peace, tolerance, harmony, charity and love for the mankind. Now, pause a while and think, if success was all about competing with another human being then what are we doing here by attending lectures, taking education, developing or actualizing ourselves? The most successful man, then, is one who is an expert in beating others hollow. Consequently, the best success teacher is one who is most capable of equipping his prodigy with the smartest weapons to beat others, so he can stand out alone as a glaring winner amongst others.
In order to understand the proper perspective of success, let us first admit the fact that the business of success is not something, which is out of place with other principle-centered functions of life. On the contrary, the principles of success including education thereof need to be rather discussed with a profoundly ethical frame of mind. Mind you, here you are talking about the class of people not the mass— you are actually deciding what should be the characteristics of these rare stalwarts who stand, as role models by setting examples for others and whom others would emulate. Unless the topic of success is not dealt at par with a sort of commodity trading and is essentially rooted in highly moral and ethical ground, we shall run the risk of causing further disintegration in the world. The point is, real success is indeed a traditionally ethical phenomenon; for how can growth, progress, achievement or even prosperity which constitute the very backbone of the over all human evolution, be viewed in isolation with ethical, and even spiritual, parameters? The fallacy is, we have become unknowingly entangled into a living style based on a set of erroneous interpretations of the principles of success rather than being enriched by the very principles of success.
It is in this very light that I intend to introduce my favorite and holistic definition of success, ‘Success is achievement recognized by people’. Let me show you how this wholesome success perspective bears the potential of revolutionizing the norms and practices of every business, profession or education, apart from transforming our social, cultural and personal lives. If you are ready to explore this new and exciting journey, first let us prepare to step away from the paradigm that you can plan being successful. You got to separate success from goals. Goals are planned, not success. Success results from achievements of goals. Success is not, as some western stalwarts preach, ‘progressive realization of predetermined personal goals’. Success is rather, ’a result of progressive realization of predetermined personal goals’. Please don’t miss out the minor change in the two statements. In fact this minor change is, in essence, the much-needed shift in paradigm, which can transform everything in this world.
No successful man has ever said, ‘Look, I am a successful man’. But, it is people who have always said, ‘Look, here is a successful man’. However, if one says, ‘Look, I have set goals and achieved them’, he is not held guilty in the ethical parlance. The recommended paradigm invites you to see success in a much broader light— as a ‘present’ rather than a ‘pursuit– a ‘gift’ rather than a ‘goal’. The gift comes on the due date, and at the deserving moment. Gift is never a landmark, the goal is. Gift is never ‘demanded’, it is only ‘deserved’. The very first qualification for a gift is that you got to be serene about it. Don’t you think, the unexpected gift is the most delightful one? So, view and treat success only as a gift and just leave it to the nature.
Nature works on a rule, it has no means to overtake or disobey the rule. It can’t therefore fail you in getting all the deserving gifts. If on the contrary, we preoccupy our minds with the expectations of the gifts, we shall be detracted from the wholehearted actions, which we need to render for the achievements of our goals. Every expectation is engrained with an intrinsic ability to contaminate the spirit of a noble action. I love saying, “ Expectation soaks inspiration”.
Save yourself from this trap and you will gloriously ascend to the order of a new and more profound enlightenment, entitlement and victories of a perpetual nature. The central message is concentrate on goals, leave success apart—yes, just leave it to people.
Are you taken by a possible fear or apprehension, if you think like this you may look like a docile person without fire? No, leaving success to nature is not complacency— it is wisdom. The core of Indian philosophy is all-powerful. It says, do your best and leave the rest. You have a control on your present moment—today; you can’t control future—tomorrow. Imagine, you are not worried about your future and are doing your best and a little more in the present—are your quantitative and qualitative energies depleted or consolidated? This new paradigm is divinely enriched by the powerful concept of faith. Faith is not an expression based on an idle superstition, faith is science. It is not so abstract that it cannot be applied in day-to-day life. It is a reality that you can and must live every moment. It is an attitude that always assures you that you cannot perish because you are needed in this world. You are needed because you are righteous and worthy and, of course, you have a purpose, which includes a mission to do good and set better examples for others. Therefore, nature has its own reason to safeguard your interest and bear your example.
This sense of moment-to-moment confidence and reliance is what we call faith. The aspect of success in our new definition is implicitly enriched in faith. One has to feel, much less understand, the importance of faith in living a fuller, richer and happier life.
Now consider the benefits of this new revolutionary success concept in the context of one’s own achievements as well as for the overall society and world. Here are a few points for your contemplation:
1. Your stress as well as restlessness level is less in so far as you are operating with greater faith.
2. You operate with more creativity, alertness and effectiveness, because a relaxed mind is more creative.
3. Your personal productivity is at much higher ebb.
4. Results that you produce now are eventually of better quality.
5. You maintain better and more harmonious relationship with people at large.
6. You carry yourself with higher self-esteem and gain more respect and recognition of others.
7. Your accomplish more and maintain a consistently self-motivated life style.
8. You are generally more human, able to respect others and are free from negative traits in your nature and behavior.
1.An environment of cooperation, understanding and peace will prevail.
2.Conflicts will be less there will be more cohesive synergy in organizational work.
3.There will be more collaborative rather than competitive enterprises.
4.Social anarchy disharmony and war will be reduced and mutual goodwill will prevail.
5.Justice and compassion for the less privileged will be practice.
6. It will be a world of more awakened and responsible people.
What are anchors? Anchors are powerful tools or aids, which help you to climb steep hills or mountains. Here, the term anchor is used to refer a set of powerful words or sentences, which can lift one’s mind to the realm of a higher level of understanding. These special words are psychologically empowered to make you think and contemplate.
Repeated reading of these anchors will unfold the truth latent in them and create deep conviction within your mind. You would then be unconsciously guided to practice them and thereby make them the very ways of your life. Now, consider the following anchors which come as corollaries to our recommended definition of success:
a) Compete with yourself, not others. Yes, break your own records steadily and one day you will emerge as a champion without even asking. It will be so sudden that you will just be overwhelmed by the reward that comes your way. Please remember, this is the only way it has happened to all people who created history. They silently set their goals and worked relentlessly with absolute hope and trust. People of the world had traveled down the beaten track and declared them as their heroes. Ask them. Most never worked for becoming heroes, people made them so.
b) Run marathon, not sprint. You don’t have to win right now and at any cost. You got to win well and steady. You got to leave a winning example. So don’t be restless, draw out a clear work plan for crossing the landmarks before you reach the finish line. Set your own speed regardless of others. Don’t allow impatience to have its toll on you. Then, run at your own speed. You will see many others running ahead. Don’t bother too much about them. It’s a marathon. Many of them may not finish at all. You will, if you are steady and well prepared. You will keep releasing more and more energy as you come close to the finish line.
c) Don’t pay happiness as a price for prosperity. Most people are indeed doing this. Save yourself from this dangerous trap. Wealth is only the means of satisfaction, not satisfaction itself. Always keep your mind on the value of wealth and prosperity. Refuse to earn wealth if it required you to overtake your principles. You must draw a balance between prosperity and happiness.
d) Replace perfectionism by excellence. Perfectionism is a negative word. A perfectionist is never happy; he is always apprehensive about something always going wrong. There is a frown on his head; he is hardly able to smile. Please accept the truth that in spite of your best efforts, some time things will go the other way and you won’t get the result you expected. You may say once, ‘My God how could I do it?’ But, don’t keep cribbing over it the whole daylong. Please take it in your stride, learn from your mistake and apply yourself with renewed enthusiasm and zeal. This time, make sure you have excelled. A step-by-step improvement is always better than expecting every thing in one go.
e) Own you life. Yes, own every thing that life offers, both good and bad. Don’t belong to those who give themselves all the credit when good things happen and blame their fate or folks when things go wrong. Our thoughts are the blue print of our destiny. Hence we are responsible for every thing that happens in our life. Unless we take responsibility of the unfriendly events of our life we won’t deserve even the better ones.
f) Call them just outcomes. Familiarize yourself more with this important and crucial English word ‘outcome’. From today train your mind to use ‘outcome’ in lieu of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. People neither succeed nor fail; they only produce outcomes or results. Those results are, indeed, commensurate with the energies and efforts they put in. When you appreciate this fact, you shall rise with a brand new sense of personal and social responsibility of relieving yourself and others from wearing this pseudo emblem given by the world. This attitude will, most certainly, raise you self-esteem and image and make you free from prejudices, which can bring disastrous consequences for you in the future.
g) Play the seesaw. Another most important thing about learning this new paradigm of success is, ‘drawing a balance between home and work’. While running for prosperity many of us ignore our home and personal lives. This erroneous habit tends to make our entire efforts to lead a better life, an absolutely self-defeating proposition. As a river flows to the ocean, not vice versa, our work must also flow to our happiness. Home is the factory where we manufacture the positive energies and work is the market where we invest them.
h) Not duty, but service. Consider this word duty for a while with your analytical mind. There is an element of compulsion or binding engrained in it. On the contrary, service is a more positive word with a breathing space endowed in it. Duty is a condition that comes to you from outside, while service is something, which you have adopted voluntarily. Duty is an allocated role while service, a perceived role. Those who made a difference in this world by playing there own perceived role above the allocated ones had created history. So refuse to remain just duty bound; rather make things better by putting your own creative input into it. Your voluntary touch will only make your enterprise a class apart from others. Here is something to inspire you:
“If an individual is to be called a street sweeper, he should sweep street even as Michael Angelo painted, Shakespeare wrote poetry or Beethoven composed music. He should sweep street so well that people of the heaven and earth should stop as they pass and say here lived a street sweeper who did his job well”
– Martin Luther King (Junior)
i) Small ‘c’ to Capital ‘C’. There are two kinds of people in this world, regardless of where they stay and what they do. Most among them live for themselves. The only concept which preoccupies them is, ‘what is there in it for me?’ I call them ‘consumers’, in short the small’ c’s. On the other hand, there are others who are not so much bogged down with their own self. Here are the men of greater enthusiasm and purpose. They want to play their part in the lives of others. Like an engine, they create energies for the compartments to move and carry passengers to their destination. In the professional or social parlance they are often referred as leaders. The purpose is not to recommend that everyone should become a kind of social worker but a genuine feeling of compassion for a fellow human being needs to prevail in every action of yours.
j) Count the smiles you have created. Your new definition demands you to redefine success in terms of the smiles you are able to create around you and not, so much, the material wealth you have managed to acquire. Spreading sincere goodwill and creating happiness in others is the core message for all personal development. Mind you, the word TOP has three letters. This suggests, if you want to reach the top, your track is through ‘The Other Person’.
Action Steps :
While the above 10 Anchors will help in internalizing the concept, the following 10 Action Steps will be useful for bringing it down to your fingertips. I suggest you read the Anchors at least twice every day for 3 weeks. The 10 Action Steps must be read loudly once a day for minimum 3 months. This exercise should be done without any break. Maintaining the same reading time will be of paramount importance for ascertaining optimum and expeditious results. Each statement of the action steps is psychologically empowered and will unfold profound enthusiasm after a few days of sincere reading. You are most welcome to share your experiences with me through email. Now read the following Action Steps loudly from the beginning till end, as written sequentially:
TEN STEPS TO LIVE A HAPPY AND FULFILLED LIFE
1. I clearly admit my mistakes.
2. I make it a point to continuously improve over my last performance.
3. I overcome all obstacles to achieve my ultimate goal.
4. I take full responsibility of all consequences.
5. I maintain balance between my personal and professional
6. I carry goodwill and spread happiness amongst others.
7. I do my best and a little more.
8. I stumble, rise and walk again and thereby keep progressing.
9. I fervently attempt to make my efforts free from expectations.
10. I benefit by benefiting others.
This article is based on years of serious research alongside my first hand experience of dealing with thousands of people from different cross section of profession and practices. As already mentioned, the concept elucidated in this literature is, of course, not new. However, I have made a genuine attempt to make it as specific and relevant to the present day context, as possible. Finally, I must share that I have heard many individuals complaining that life had no meaning. When I went back to analyze the nature and activities of such people, I have inevitably found most of them either lacking a central purpose or approaching life with a rather selfish viewpoint. On the other side, I am yet to see a single enthusiastic and vibrant campaigner of life operating with missionary zeal, who was bearing an iota of regret or was ever complaining about life’s ways.
The final message, therefore, is, “The purpose of life is to have a life-of-purpose. “