The greatest enigma about success is that, irrespective of the section, or strata of society, there are thousands of people who claim being very successful. Yet there is a virtual famine of role models in every field.
One thing, however, is clear. Everyone across the globe is thirsting for success.
Definition of Success : The simple definition of success is :
“To ceaselessly go on fulfilling the purpose for which one was created.”
(This applies equally to man, all flora, fauna, all material elements and mother Nature).
What would sugar be worth if it stopped sweetening ? What would a bulb be worth if it stopped giving light ? What would be the value of a honey-bee if it stopped collecting honey, or a vulture, if it stopped doing its role of scavenging in Nature ? NOTHING. They will all be worthy of being thrown in to the dust-bin. In exactly the same way, if a human being does not fulfill the purpose for which he was created, he too will be worthy of being thrown in to the dust bin. Purposeless humans, or other living beings, can surely not be thrown in to the dustbins, but it is certain that they cannot be of any greater worth than the things lying in a dust-bin.
to be successful is more crucial than life itself. After all, any thing can be of value only to the extent to which it is fulfilling its purpose. The fact is that the value of any thing or any being is directly proportional to the degree of success achieved in fulfilling its purpose.
Knowing the purpose of life, therefore, is even more important than remaining alive.
Purpose of Human Life
The purpose of all Human life on this planet comprises three distinct categories :
The first category :
deduced through scientific logic, the purpose of human life is identical
for every single human being. It comprises three things :
To achieve perfection, i.e., salvation of one’s soul or merging of
one’s soul with the Supreme Being.
To voluntarily share the misery of all creation around himself.
To voluntarily squander happiness to all creation around himself.
(“Creation” includes fellow humans, all fauna, flora and even
is interesting to observe that this very threefold purpose is also set out
in our scriptures in just one
Mokshartham : Jagata Hitaya cha” meaning
“Salvation for the soul, (and) doing good to all creation.”
identical purpose has been stated by Prophet Mohammad in the Hadis while
he was quoting the “Essence of
ki Ibadat; khalq Per Shafaqqat”, he had said. Meaning :
“Worshipping the Creator and compassion for all creation”.
fulfill this purpose, all that is required is to take at least one step
towards perfection, share at least one misery, become instrumental in
bringing one happiness to someone
in the course of each passing day. And this too, only to the extent of
The second category :
order to fulfill the above purpose of life, man has to stay alive and for
this he has to take up any of the infinite number of avocations as a means of livelihood. It is
here that we arrive at the second category of man’s purpose which
fulfilling the objectives of the job that one has chosen as a ‘means’
of his livelihood”.
struck man when he converted the ‘means’
into ‘end’ and the “end” into “means”.
Money is a ‘means’ of commerce; it has become an’end’ in
itself for millions. Power or rank is a ‘means’ for serving fellow
humans; it has become an ’end’ in itself. This body was given as a “means” to fulfill the
three-fold purpose of human life, but today we see people spending their
whole life to provide all comforts and even luxuries to their bodies and
their offsprings. The upkeep of the body itself has become an end in
the other hand, the “end”,
i.e., achieving the Supreme Being or God, has been converted into a ‘means’. For, do we
not see millions of people offering prayers and even money at temples and
other worship places asking God to grant them a son, victory in elections,
cure from illnesses or simply our daily bread?
As though Lord God were the owner of a departmental store supplying
bread to one, a seat in Parliament to another or a son to the issueless
and so on….
we humans are living our lives in the reverse. Mother Nature ordained that
man should walk on his legs, but man seems hell bent upon walking on his
head. And then he goes about
screaming that life is a bundle of miseries. He
does not even tarry to ponder that the word misery is not known to any of
the millions of other living beings inhabiting this planet.
Impelled by Nature, they all continuously live in fulfillment of
the purpose for which they were created and hence they are perennially
contented and happy. Has anyone ever seen a cat or a mouse, a horse or a
goat, indeed any animal of land, sea or air, brooding in misery? ….
“Man” even coined a phrase “as happy as a skylark” but never cared
to know how and why a skylark is so perpetually happy.
the present times, money, power and
fame have become the yardsticks
of success because of the above reversal in our concept of success. Not
that these are not important. They are precious, but only
as a means to motivete man for building a powerful nation in all respects.
They become disastrous for the individual when one converts them into
“Ends” or uses them as his yardsticks of success.
this is not all.
of the real definition of success, or may be because of the lack of
discipline, sincerity, and dedication for achieving real success, men
started devising their own concepts of success.
They not only began living accordingly, but also began propagating
their respective brands of success to enhance their following so that
their brand of success acquires legitimacy and prestige.
many brands of success can be created in but a single profession would
perhaps become clearer by taking a practical example.
Being a policeman myself, I shall discuss the kinds of brand that
are available in the police. Mutatis-mutandis
every other field also ha s its own host of brands.
instilled the values of fearlessness, truth, impartiality and justice as
Principal, Police Training College, a young Sub-Inspector accosted me
about the wisdom of my training programme.
He said that he had acted exactly as he was trained to act and in
the process arrested the brother of a local MLA. All hell broke loose
thereafter. The Station Officer, his boss, almost lost his job. Somehow, the SSP tided over the crisis. At the end of it,
however, the Station officer called up this young sub-inspector and told
him : “If you want to be a
really successful police
officer, then better forget all that you have learnt at the P.T.C. and
start doing what I tell you.”
was this incident that caused me to look for the kinds of definitions of
successes various police officers had devised. The following are some of
the definitions that I discovered. The
list is by no means exhaustive :
To get increasingly brilliant annual confidential reports in their
To get appointed to increasingly important field postings.
To do deeds of valour that can earn them countrywide fame.
To consistently earn their promotions and ultimately reach the
To somehow pass through the career without having to compromise
To amass as much money and wealth by any and every means.
To earn the complete loyalty of the force in their command and the
love and respect of the people they serve.
To function in a manner that the people remember him for decades
To serve with self-respect and fulfil the legitimate needs of their
children and family as perfectly as possible.
To function in a manner where the good people feel reassured and
the evil ones feel afraid of him.
To use his power for personally obliging important VIPs, other
highly influential persons and even heads of big industrial houses so that
they could provide him with respectable/remunerative post-retirement jobs.
To fulfill the expectations and aspirations of the people even if
this requires violating the law.
To work in the strict framework of law even if in doing so the
crime situation goes out of control.
To ensure that truth and justice is upheld at all cost and the
security of the State and the law and order situation is kept in firm
each of these brands of success shall generate its own unique brand of
attitude towards one’s duties, and every variety of attitude will
require its own unique brand of inputs.
Not only his motivations, his attitude, his efforts, his decisions,
but his entire life will get moulded by the brand of success in which he
believes. The one who wants
to get outstanding remarks will have to keep his immediate boss well
pleased no matter what may be his demands.
The one who is scared of a mid term transfer shall need to keep the
important politicians well pleased and fulfill all their wishes.
The person who is interested in money shall evince interest only in
cases which have potential for money and so on….
It is to be noted that what would be nectar for one brand of
success, would be poison for another, and vice-versa.
The significant part is that irrespective of the brand, each brand
holder would be sincerely considering himself a hugely successful police
officer and will be ever ready to share his own “Key
of success” with all others.
question is, “How to make out which is really the true brand”. For arriving at the
answer, all that one needs to do is to work out the objectives for which
the police department was created. And
this will show us that it is only the last brand (number 14) that fulfills
that objective. Achieving that brand of success alone will be true success.
this reckoning the success of a hotel will lie in the quality of food that
is served and not on its balance sheet; in the quality of hygiene
maintained, and in ensuring that those who cook and serve the food are at
total peace with themselves and do their jobs with love and care : the
kind of feelings a mother has while cooking and feeding her children. It
may sound astonishing but all the aforementioned factors have a profound
impact on the body and mind of the customer who eats at that hotel. An
industrialist’s success shall lie in the excellence of goods he is
manufacturing. The success of
a doctor shall lie in the love and care and the thoroughness with which he
treats his patients, etc. etc….
The person who wants to be truly successful will have to first think and
precisely define the objectives for which his job was created and then
work out all the factors that would contribute in fulfilling that
objective to perfection. It may sound strange, but, by making the
wealth created, power acquired or the fame earned, as his indices of
success, ‘man’ has really hurt himself the most. These indices of
success will inevitably deprive him of internal peace, tranquility,
serenity and the thrill in every living moment that was his birthright as
a human being. Is it any wonder that the larger the number of these so
called “worldly successful” people, greater is the requirement of
tranquilisers and pain
relievers in the world.
are not success:
though the quest for wealth, power or fame in the modern world were not
enough to confuse the concept of true success, the Western concept of
“Management by objectives” only confounded it further.
may sound strange, but the truth is that achievements are not success. Achievements
are a mere by-product of success and are best forgotten as they keep
coming. There is no harm in planning short term or long-term
objectives while one is ceaselessly fulfilling the objectives of his job.
But achievements, however spectacular, cannot be allowed to
distract anyone from the concept of true success. After
all, so long as one lives, each day has to be filled with the efforts
needed to fulfill the overall objective of his job. Accordingly, a
follower of true success has to succeed every day by putting in his finest
efforts. Success to him is a
never-ending daily phenomenon. It
cannot be allowed to be halted at the advent of an achievement.
The Third category of
is not alone. He is a social
being also. He is therefore
multi-functional. He is a
son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend, etc. etc.
Each one of these roles casts specific responsibilities that have
to be discharged as objectives of that particular role.
A question arises : “How
is one to identify the totality of responsibilities for each of such
roles?” To know those responsibilities, the simple exercise that needs to be done is to put oneself in the shoes
of the other and work out what he would expect the other to do unto
himself. This exercise
helps profoundly in identifying the true objectives that he needs to
pursue to fulfill all the respective responsibilities.
Once again, it will be the ceasless effort to fulfill the
respective objectives of those roles that shall signify true success.
success knows no end. It is
one continuous process that has to be sustained till one’s last breath.
Such a person alone can become a true role model.
It is such a person who will experience continuous thrill in
living. He will perennially
be at peace with himself and consequently with the world around him.
What is more, such a person shall never remain in any kind of want,
because, by fulfilling the objectives of his life as well as his job, he
triggers a law of Nature by which Nature itself ensures that all his
material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual wants are met
effortlessly. Life then
becomes one continuous thrill for him.
wonder, therefore, that success has been rated as being more precious than