Back to Basics. The 3 Fundamentals That Everyone Always Forgets About Success.
I know you all must wonder what new I will write on the topic – what is success and who is successful. From childhood, we have been taught that a person’s success is measured by the size of his assets which include but are not limited to a palatial house(not a home), financial stability, a fleet of fancy cars and other associated luxuries. Our society puts these people on a high pedestal, and hence they become our benchmarks of success.
This is by far the most accepted and celebrated definition of success, but for today’s discussion, let’s keep it aside for a while. What I want to instead dwell upon is the lesser-known aspects of success. We realise the importance of these aspects often late as we are busy achieving success as we know and believe will get us all the happiness we need in life. Today I want to talk about two other types of successes – personal and spiritual, which can redefine our thinking and lift us above the materialistic success into a realm of true happiness and well-being.
But first, let’s get into some basics. Grab your coffee and read on.
The Definition of Success in Life
So how do we define success? Success is defined as an accomplishment of an aim, goal, or purpose. When we achieve our goals, we get a sense of self-worth and self-confidence and feel contented and happy.
So let’s now understand what our goals are? I want to categorise goals under three heads:
- Worldly goals– these goals which include good education, high paying jobs, prosperity counted in terms of money, big house, cars, status and all associated luxuries.
- Personal goals – include your relationships with people around you- your spouse, children, parents, friends and the community.
- Spiritual goals – encompass your relationship with God, the supreme power.
People call a person having overflowing money, palatial houses, cars etc., to be successful and strive to be like him. But are they successful in the true sense of the word? Are all these worldly goods assuring them happiness through contentment and peace of mind? Actually not, and read on to find out why I believe so.
Why Is Personal Success a Key Pillar for Our Life?
Does the achievement of worldly goals bring you the ultimate happiness that you desire? What will you do with all the happiness that this money and fame brings if you do not have someone to share it with?
Does your status in society define your relationship with your partner or vice-versa? Do you take care of your elderly parents or give them the time and compassion they need? And what about children? While pursuing your worldly goals, were you able to give enough time to your children so that they grow up into compassionate and responsible citizens of the world? You gave them all the comfort but did you give them a value system to call their own and live by.
And last but most important, fame earns you many friends, but how many of them will stand by you if tides were to turn tomorrow.
Take a minute and introspect on your answers. You will realise why personal success is a key pillar for us to achieve the state of ultimate long-lasting happiness.
Remember, a person may be successful in the eyes of the world, but if he is a failure in the eyes of his loved ones, then he is not successful.
The Third Aspect of Success
The third and the least known truth of success is attaining success at a spiritual level. For me, this is the most important form of success but the most difficult one to achieve and hence relegated for later stages of life. In our youth, we all are so focused on making our careers and amassing worldly success that we don’t have time to devote to this aspect. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, it’s important to devote a few minutes in the day to have a conversation with the supreme power. It may be any form of God, an energy source, or even a holy book for some.
Most of us don’t realise that achieving this access will lay the foundation for the other two successes. It changes our perspective towards life, makes us more forgiving and helps us look at every experience as a source of learning.
I believe that people can only be successful spiritually if they are good human beings and devote sufficient time in a day connecting themselves to their spiritual self, i.e. God-realisation.
Coming back to our original question -what is a success, and who is successful? I believe that a person who has developed a reasonable balance between worldly, personal and spiritual goals can be deemed successful. All three goals are important at different stages of life, and one may take precedence over the other two as situations arise. But we must always strive to restore the balance to live a truly harmonious life.
I would also like to bring in the concept of Karmas again here and that many times our Karmas determine our success too, especially in personal goals. Please read my blog on How Karmas determine our Relationships.
Last but not least -how will you recognise a person who is leading such harmonious life?
Unfortunately, very few people attain such success, but I was lucky to witness once in my lifetime. My maternal grandmother radiated the glow of this success, and all of us could feel her positive energies irrespective of our age and the span of time spent with her. She was someone I would say lived her life in true harmony by balancing all three goals.
In conclusion, success may mean different things to different people and let’s not use our benchmarks to measure other people’s success.
Thank you, Dr Minni Chadha, for the lovely artwork for the blog header.
How Do You Define Success? I Hope This Will Make You Think and Prioritise.
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About the Author:
Dr Annu Khanna is an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). She did her MBBS and MS from the prestigious medical colleges of Delhi. After being busy in clinical practice for more than thirty years, she spends a semi-retired life because of the covid pandemic. This has given her time to read a lot and introspect & share her thoughts with the world.