“Success” is by itself cryptic and means different things to different people, but what is common, is the fact, that no matter how you want to define it for yourselves, within it lie the seeds of your failure! This piece is all about understanding the real essence of “success” and how to ensure your success doesn’t sow the seeds of your failure! So here we go!
To begin with most of us, when asked , “What does success mean to you?” will go on answering this question with that unwanted grin and start adding all the materialistic attributes that one can think of- money, cash, houses, gadgets, vacations, lifestyle, grandeur, name, fame, recognition, food, indulgence etc. etc. and the list can go on and on- What is common within all the elements mentioned here is that all and each of these manifestations of success are all extrinsic and dependent of multiple variables apart from you! When this aspect is forgotten or lost in translation- shit invariably happens and you end up setting yourself for certain failure, ironically developing from your success and it is proportional to the extent of your success- the more successful you become (hinging on the extrinsic attributes and definitions of success) your failure will be equally noteworthy and iconic! Sounds familiar? Well yes- the stuff that tycoons, politicians and celebrities face right? Well yes, and more importantly each one of us too have faced this, every now and than at the level that we are and proportional to what we have achieved or not achieved in life! So this is what must be focused upon and this is what needs to be fixed! How do we do this? well read on!
The problem with our modern day definition of “success” lies in the fact that it all is entrapped into materialistic bondage! Nothing wrong in earning money, growing your affluence and being able to enjoy the best of what the world has to offer and what your money can buy- the problem is with ending up using that space and that ability to indulge with what you have to define your success which becomes the undoing for many! You would have heard stories of sporting icons, celebrities, business tycoons, who had it all and than lost themselves as they lost what they had (rather what they had- which according to them- defined who they are!). Well, this plays out when people misread and misinterpret “success” as an achievement! Consider this, how would you feel if every time you went to meet your doctor- you find your doctor- throwing a party because he cured ten patients yesterday! or when you visit a store to shop for some clothes and the moment you complete your billing- you find the counter staff breaking out in a gig celebrating their targets! Well, I am certain you would not have seen any of this! So what does that mean? Isn’t your doctor successful and shouldn’t he celebrate the “success” of his patients getting better? Seems aright to be celebrated, right? Even the shop counter staff, knowing they hit the sales figure, nothing wrong if they too celebrated their “success” isn’t it? So why don’t do they do it? Well in the case of the doctor or the counter staff they are practicing what I call it as “Internalizing success” – they know the simple truth- that they are working in the current direction and are sure that if they continue doing what they do- they will keep achieving the results and keep getting better and better- which will help them with building their lives! This is what internalizing success does and the bets part- well it doesn’t bother them much if that odd patient left treatment mid-way or unfortunately died or if they did not hit the sales number for that month! Because they know it deep within that – With each opportunity they give their best and than hope for the rest to manifest and this is what real success looks like- It’s hard work, non-glamorous and intrinsic! They don’t contemplate of stopping work as a doctor or leaving the job at the store, because one day, one event was not working in their favour!
Internalizing success does many wonderful things! First it helps you understand that your success is defined by Who You Are! Real success which clings onto a person always derives its strength from the person and not from the circumstances around the person! Circumstances are like a case of electromagnets wrapped around your working world- every now and then there will be changes and that change of flux around you will drain you of your internal latent potential unless you don’t do way with the habit of large dependence on the circumstances around you! Sure enough they are important- but no reason can be bigger than Yourself and who You are as person when it comes to defining success in the real essence of it! What happens if you don’t embrace success this way around?
Well as long as people define success by aligning it to standards, benchmarks and societal confirmations, there will be an ever ongoing disagreement between Who You Are, What Your Beliefs are, What you actually value and what you paint as an image of what others must see (which comes in as a rider to enjoy that stage success!). Success of this nature, which is measured and calibrated through the lens of the world/society or set standards and perceptional rules of engagement of the sectors that people work in- will invariably fail- once the external factors that fan the staged-success are depleted- either they wane away or they move to a new host- what is left, is an individual with a hollow reality of the staged success and with more questions than answers about themselves! This staged success which is hinged on circumstances and societal influence brings along a hidden baggage which manifests in different ways like, peer pressure, competitive pressure, one upmanship, group-isms and so on and so forth- this compelling need to belong to be recognized and to belong to a section or a select acceptance within the society ends up undoing all that may have been done by an individual and eventually sets up the person into a tailspin of self- discovery where answers simply don’t seem to come by and there are more and more questions as the dive becomes more and more terrifying. The only hope of recovery to come out of this deadly self-inflicting death dive is to “Know Yourself” and Know that Your Success is not dependent on others to the extent that you are made to believe!
True success is always a factor of the Individual- If you have been successful once you will be once again and yet again- certainly there will be spanners in the wheel as you try and move ahead and there will be twists and turns on the way- but as long as you don’t fall into the trap of “compulsive social acceptance”, “confirmation bias” and fall prey to the “be in the group” kind of situation- you will be safe and have a greater sense of achievement when you do and a refined element of learning should you fail- because whatever the outcome maybe- It is then always about who You are and that’s what matters! Once You learn that You alone make the difference and You alone get to decide Who impact you and by How Much, rest assured – you’ve imbibed the right way to “Internalize Success” and sooner or later You will become what You are Destined to be- no matter what the circumstances!
I will leave you with these thoughts, so that you may go head and reflect and see how you have experienced staged- success and true success as you wandered across the world! Always remember- The Final choice rests with each one of us- to define and be defined the way we want us to be! True Success is about us, each one of us and what we can uniquely achieve by being How We Are! There can be no comparison, never, simply because each of us has a different life story and a life path, to narrate and tread upon! All that hinges on others and external factors, will fade away, sooner or later! All that remains is the Belief and Faith within and that alone helps to weave the fabric of your true success- which solely relies on Who You Are!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article, until then stay safe and stay wise!