Before you want to jump in try to tell me that “I sound like I have lost it”, well do go through my earlier piece which talked about failure by design! In the mad race that we get ourselves into- for all the valid reasons that you and I may have, what we fundamentally tend to forget is how we got to the point where we are and why do we tend to stagnate after sometime at a point we are- whether that’s we here we rise and stay or whether it is a point where we come back to after rising and racing ahead- each of these aspects conveys one singular message- that message is about- failure being natural and success being something that we have to strive for! No one is urging you not to succeed, but the fact remains, unless you don’t fail safely enough and timely enough, you will never be able to gauge and arrive at the point which defines what success is meant for you! So here we go!
The story of human evolution has been a story of many failures and few successes, and for the reason who we are, we are naturally programmed to latch on to what works and do away with what doesn’t- well that is safe and fine until you reach a point of trying to “reinvent the wheel” and this is where problems begin to manifest! Walk into any bookshop or a library that you are allowed to visit, choose any subject area- what do you see, tons and tons of books written about success, how to get there, who got there, how did they get there, when and why- thats is what is – when you go back to history-m even within those books that speak or embrace success- very rarely do they talk in depth on the human aspect of failure that those individuals would have dealt with before touching success- whether they were great scientists,army strategists, innovators, creative souls- whatever they would have been- no where will you ever easily find the fragility of the human side to who they were written and documented in detail especially when it comes to moments of failure and distraught they faced. What this goes to do with our minds- is that we begin to believe on a few “captured” and “observed” instances of these success stories and as we try to extrapolate them to our contextual realities- we start to believe that we will be successful, because they were, altogether forgetting the individuality aspect of the person involved and the realities of their world when they walked the planet!
The observant human mind can get easily tricked, remember your school days when friends said they may get a B for the project work and land up with an A+ and you are left wondering what you failed to read! Well this is what keeps playing out through and around your life- whether it is your high school, college, work place, business, service unto society or just being plain yourself- the human mind simply cannot always capture what it observes holistically and is default to reinforce pleasure and delete pain (as long as it is not a threat to existence) and this is from where divergence begins and failure begins to become “the bad thing” and success anyhow begins to become “the only thing”!
As time has flown through civilizations, the reason why success has been given the crown and failure a back seat could have different reasons! These could be as simple- people around would not have been keen to know about the failing part, it would not have got recorded the way it should have been or simply for the fact (which is evident even today) that what ever mattered was “getting things done” whoever they came by! Sure enough, humanity has made great strides, but what this has led to is having the burden to lead and create pathways for human kinds progress on the shoulders of a few to dictate the lives of the many! Look around you, chances are that the society you live in is a chronicle of a few who have written the fate of the many within it and this is exactly what happens when people don’t give the time they should to learn from failures well enough by knowing the human story within!
Needless to say, we all are witness to the maxim, “Reaching the top, is easy, being there is the real essence of success”; what does this tell you, well, the plain truth that if success that isn’t as natural as what failure is, it always will be a struggle to hold onto it and a lot energy will simply get sapped up for being there! Let me explain, we have villages after villages at the foot hills of the Himalayas, having the formidable Sherpas living there- that is natural- they are acclimatized through the centuries to live and exits at altitude above 18,000 feet, but when they go climbing the great Himalayan peaks, which are basically a definition of “success” for the mountaineers, but for them are nothing else but a walk in their back yard- albeit a harsh one! So you see what is a great achievement- read as “success” for the mountaineer is a routine walk in the park for the Sherpa- that is what happens when success is not natural and this is why it becomes so difficult to retain it, even if you achieve it- simply because it isn’t natural!
Now, if you were to see the other stories of success, like the great works of art, creative expression through writing, building and innovating- these are the examples which are the real essence of success- but if you were to measure these by the myopic yardsticks that govern our lives today, all of these would seem to be nothing! Unless success too is natural and blends into who you are, you will always have to witness a never ending struggle to retain and manage it- whether it is the position you have at your workplace, whether it is getting your targets, whether it is completing a set of paintings- unless what you choose to do is not naturally aligned to who you are, you will always end up being limited as far as who you could have been and who eventually end up becoming! So is there something called natural success? A state of being successful sans being stressful or insecure of loosing it! Well read on!
Natural success, like failure, is silent, potent and lingers on- whether it is recognised or not and the individual who lives it- knows that well enough- irrespective of what others perceive about it! Have you ever heard about a surgeon who threw party after every successful surgeon? Have you ever heard about a Teacher- who got depressed when few students didn’t achieve the grades- well probable not! The reason for this is that both the surgeon and teacher know very well that essence of natural and real success resides in the simple space of doing what is being undertaken to the best of ones’ ability and knowing that people will continue to perceive to the best of their abilities to perceive and nothing clouds reality like perceptions do! The surgeon or the teacher doesn’t have to take an effort to save every life or send every kid to The White House (all though they may like it that way!); all that they need to stay glued upon is the fact that, they are deploying their skill to the best of what they can and hence they remain unflustered, calm and composed not being insecure or worried about their “success”quotient”!
The modern day narrative and definition has taken the whole essence of success and everything that goes along with it to a very limited and time sensitive space- the yardsticks, metrics to measure also go on to ensure that there is always a hunger for more and more with no real meaningful end in sight and this makes even what has been achieved meaningless in the future! The only people who are immune and are able to stay safe from this maddening and unwise spatial orientation are those who are able to define and calibrate their stories of success and failures built on the bedrock of their own intrinsic attributes and on the individuality that they bring along!
It is these rare eclectic species of humans in the nooks and corners of the society who go on to define the essence and meaningfulness of real success- the natural way and this is why when you visit that art gallery, that fine-dine heaven or read through those well written stories- you feel elevated- because each of those creative expressions arise from the inner solitudes of who these people are and with every story they weave, they are able to shed a bit of themselves into every bit of what it is! If you thought this is limited only to creative people-well humans are creative in what they choose to do, scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, writers, you think of it and each one of them is- the only catch being each one of them can deploy or will deploy their individuality and intrinsic essence to a limited extent for different reasons and this what goes on to differentiate the ordinary form the extra-ordinary and some stories fade away in months and few linger on for centuries as personification of success- the natural way!
I leave you here with thoughts, urging you to connect with your essence of meaningful success which is measured not on the yardsticks given around to you, but rather on the yardsticks that you think they ought to be measured upon- only when you do that- you will be comfortable being successful and will you be able to enjoy the success the way you are meant to!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece soon! Until then stay wise and stay successful!