Success – a heady word – the euphoria of which can escalate the level of our happiness to an all-time high or it can take our lives on a downward spiral and leave a bitter after taste of despair and loneliness in our lives.
We often equate success with material gain. We feel the more the money we have in our bank accounts, the happier and more successful we will be in our lives. Money can help us in creating happiness in our lives to a great extent. We can all take those long lovely vacations to distant places and fulfil all the desires of our loved ones. We can afford to pick and choose and decide what we want to do with our lives. We rarely have to work under others and have an upper edge in life. Quite a lot of people value this blessing and set up some kind of enterprise.
They strike the right balance in their lives by enjoying the comforts and luxuries that money can buy but also believe in creating a wealth of opportunities for those who are not as fortunate as them by generating employment for them. Such entrepreneurs have noble intentions and they go out of the way to create the right ambience in their enterprise where they can nurture the talent of other people who can then excel in their field of expertise.
Such people value people and realize that they are truly blessed to be leading such materialistically happy but equally productive lives. They are putting their money to good use and also know how to use it judiciously. Such people care two hoots for things like fame and popularity.
Yet, there are others who not as blessed as these folks at a materialistic level. And perhaps this article is more oriented for such people. Ordinary people like you and me who have to slog it out to put bread and butter and sometimes some jam on our tables. We find our problems to be mundane, our jobs are monotonous and our entire life is spent in the pursuit of more money so that we can lead a better quality of life.
Until one fine day, it strikes us that there is a certain amount of monotony and mundaneness in every ones lives. For a while, when we are youngsters, we will chase jobs with more money. We want to create our own space on this planet. And after a while, when our quest for materialistic comforts has been satiated, we will slowly learn to enjoy our hard earned money.
But not everyone has such simple clear definitions of success. More often than not they do not even know the true definition of success. They simply equate it and associate it with more money. If I had more money, a better education etc. etc. etc….. (The list varies from person to person) I can experience name, fame, glory and I can have access to other successful people who will put me on the trajectory of success. They have mind mapped their lives umpteen times in their dreams.
They get so frustrated with the current scenario of their lives that nothing looks good and feels great to them. They have no access to the personal lives of rich people and do not truly know the challenges that they are facing.
For, dear reader reading this article, let us all for once- acknowledge that nobody – absolutely nobody is leading a life of bliss and happiness and success everyday all through their lives.
There are umpteen celebrities who are leading extremely lonely lives, rich people leading extravagant lives who have committed suicide, who have succumbed to addictive habits, who have incurred huge debts and are spending all their time fighting for either property or custody rights of their children……….the list of problems here too is endless.
So, it would not be wrong to assume that whether we have an abundance of money or just about enough of it – it actually does not matter. We all faces challenges – different challenges but we all do face them. Every single one of us on this planet.
What then is the actual meaning of success?
Success actually means the accomplishment of some aim or purpose.
I personally feel there is a big difference between the word aim and the word purpose.
An aim is an ambition or a goal or burning desire to accomplish something. I usually associate aims/ambitions/goals with youngsters and careers and enterprises. Aims are things that can be mapped and the results can be plotted on a graph. We can track it and improvise our professional strategies to achieve our targets and aims. All related to our professional worlds.
But then all of us also have our own personal lives to lead. I speak for myself – but it is here that I feel we can use a word like purpose. The purpose of my life is to lead it positively and meaningfully. My purpose may be a deliberate attempt to do something fruitful and productive with my time and therefore my life. My life should have some meaning in it. I should make some difference in other people’s lives. Perhaps it is a kind word and a gentle gesture. Perhaps it is compromising for the sake of another family member. Perhaps it involves learning to live within one’s means and cultivating the value of contentment. Perhaps it is basking in the love of eating a simple piping hot meal with our loved ones.
Almost all of us have a personal and some form of professional lives these days. Can we see the contentment flowing from our personal lives to our professional lives?
Can we then create our own definitions of success?
Can we call ourselves successful if we have learned to find happiness in the finer nuances of life? Spending a Sunday evening on the beach side, eating a double scoop of your favourite ice-cream, fighting over the last piece of chocolate, reading a great book, laughing for ages over a shared family experience at a get together, sleeping in the lap of your 75 year old mother, singing an old favourite song to yourself loudly in the bathroom or the kitchen, sending a message to your best friend over whats app when you are sad…….and she replies with just the right words immediately……….can we call this success perhaps?
And then can pursuing a goal/aim – any goal/aim for that matter – with single minded determination – to the exclusion of all else in our lives – really make us successful? Should we not progress as a team, as a family, as a society and as a nation? Can we call ourselves successful if we made a few major sacrifices along the way so that our loved ones progressed along with us or our team member too learned a worthwhile skill along with us?
Can we call ourselves successful if we all have a smile at the end of every day – every single day – and I don’t mean that we need to jump around with joy and exuberance! I simply mean – a quiet simple smile to ourselves – a knowing smile that spreads a warmth in our hearts which quietly tells us that we did something good with our day today – would that mean success perhaps?
You – yes – you the reader tell me!