Story of a lost journalist

May 22, 2008

Musing on… success

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 23:11
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I was talking to my Dad and Mom today about stuff and we came across this point – about success. And then came this deal about how you define success. This was my point. Success was not always measured in money. Success is measured in how far you have reached with your purpose and how far the results of your journey matter to you. Ok that sounds a little unclear. Let me explain.

Say someone set out to make money. Now his intention is getting money in hands. Not how he does it. He may do work he detests, he may try things illegal. None of it bothers him if it gives him money in the end (provided he has a totally absent conscience). Cause his whole purpose was making money.

Now say someone else set out to find love. Let me put it in a different way – set out to get the love of the one he loved. Now this is a tough situation. If his loved one rejects his love, does it mean total failure to him? Did he not have the happiness of loving her? And like people say if his love is unselfish, what matters to him is the loved one is happy whoever she is with. So again the purpose matters. For someone who’d be happy loving her and wanting her happiness, it is still success if he could find happiness there. But for someone who starts hating the same girl who was once his dearly beloved, the day she tells a no-cant-do, success is a whole world away.

For a third instance consider someone who is looking for work satisfaction. For him, what matters should be the satisfaction or happiness he gets out of doing his work. Not money, not anything else. If he gets that, he has met his purpose in life. He doesn’t need millions to show off his success. He is already shaking hands with success every single day of doing his work.

You have already succeeded if you have given your life and soul to your purpose. Well it always needn’t be a life and death deal. I just meant the work and effort you give to get what you want is sometimes enough to make you happy. It’s like seeing your bud bloom into flower – every single stage brings joy with it. And what can define success better than happiness? Debatable point. But I believe success is as good as in your hands if you have done your part and feel happy about having done it before you go to sleep every night.

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33 Comments »

  1. This is one of my favorite points of discussion too. I have not blogged about it yet. My definition of success is more mechanistic and more specific to career, work etc. In my opinion (and in such cases) success would be defined as the state in which the person is performing to the fullest of his/her potential and to the truest of his/her desires. Making it more general, success could be defined as what Cris has mentioned in the last part – success is in the act rather than in the result.

    Comment by Minking Than — May 23, 2008 @ 00:39 | Reply

  2. Wow what took me a whole blog entry to explain, you have said in one line – your last line. Thanks Minking Than 🙂

    Comment by Cris — May 23, 2008 @ 01:00 | Reply

  3. A person is successful the moment he decides his goals and gives his heart and soul into it. He may or may not reach there but he gets an ovation for his efforts. You are very correct that success is not about the materialistic gains, its more a mental thing.

    Comment by Sabs — May 23, 2008 @ 06:18 | Reply

  4. You are successful, only if you are not unsuccessful.
    That is a truth. Changing the definition of success is,
    most of the times, when one cannot accept failure.
    In my opinion, one should completely accept failure.
    In doing that be sincere at least to ourselves and to the
    most loved ones. (to the world, dependents on the situation
    or the current politics) That adds to our strength.
    Also, it eliminates many complexities in life.

    Comment by manu — May 23, 2008 @ 12:26 | Reply

  5. I didn’t mean you accept failure and never to try again anything new. But, only once you fail, and accept failure, you learn what is failure. Without knowing failure, you will not defeat any thing. To defeat, you should know it precisely what a defeated state in a given situation.

    Comment by manu — May 23, 2008 @ 14:32 | Reply

  6. minking:- Absolutes are they. What is not absolute or, what is not precise is, the way these are measured or perceived. For example, If a geometrical construct has a much detailed structure than the pixel resolution of a camera, you get a blurred image or you don’t see any regular boundaries. When it comes to assessing success/failure the inability of drawing a clear picture is boon in the sense that, otherwise we would crumbled when you are unsuccessful. Or would have gone mad when successful.

    Then on failure as a necessity I feel that if you are genuine, you have to fail, at least if the task is non trivial: because you are the first person who take that route. No map is available !!

    Comment by manu — May 23, 2008 @ 16:34 | Reply

  7. me too me too:)
    here’s my definition of success:
    Success is in doing ones duties to the best of ones abilities.
    Happiness, money, fame and victory would be all welcome byproducts (most of the time).
    Now somebody can define duty:)

    Comment by nithin — May 23, 2008 @ 21:26 | Reply

  8. @nithin I am guessing the me too me too was to the author 🙂
    @manu so you are suggesting it is a bad sign when someone suceeds in all that he does cause he has not known failure?

    Comment by Cris — May 23, 2008 @ 21:41 | Reply

  9. @Cris – I think he meant he too wanted to join the fray 😀

    Comment by Minking Than — May 23, 2008 @ 23:20 | Reply

  10. In my experience, someone succeeds in all that he does is in two cases:

    1. He/She only do for what he/she got a good training.
    2. He/She never try anything conceptually novel.

    Of course there are such people around. Don’t need to include them in the discussion. Success is by default for them. Then it need not be a bad sign. The world need such people also(it seems so).

    Comment by manu — May 24, 2008 @ 09:43 | Reply

  11. Winning isn’t evrythnig;its the only thing 😉

    Comment by Gov — May 24, 2008 @ 11:39 | Reply

  12. Aha Chak De India @Gov? See I know a little Hindi!

    Comment by Cris — May 24, 2008 @ 15:55 | Reply

  13. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity 😉

    Comment by Gov — May 24, 2008 @ 23:22 | Reply

  14. @Gov – I will sue you if that statement had anything to do with my previous comment :).

    Comment by Anoop John — May 24, 2008 @ 23:29 | Reply

    • @Manu – Absence of Evil != Good, Absence of Darkness != Light, Absence of Sadness != Happiness. Accepting failure and moving on is good, on its own, for its own sake, but that does not amount to success. Like I mentioned success is in the action but that does not mean that all actions can be considered successful. From an optimistic perspective, there are only different levels of success and there is no absolute success and no absolute failure. From a pessimistic perspective there are only different levels of failures without any absolute success and absolute failures.

      Comment by Minking Than — May 23, 2008 @ 13:52 | Reply

  15. Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful 🙂

    Comment by Gov — May 24, 2008 @ 23:43 | Reply

  16. I am on my back foot and I don’t want to make this a war of words.
    @Gov – You must be well read 🙂

    Comment by Anoop John — May 24, 2008 @ 23:51 | Reply

    • @manu – Wouldn’t that make failure a prerequisite for success and also wouldn’t that mean you are defining failure and success as absolutes.

      Comment by Minking Than — May 23, 2008 @ 14:37 | Reply

  17. Google.com is better than books 😉

    Comment by Gov — May 25, 2008 @ 00:13 | Reply

  18. But then you have to know what you are searching for

    Comment by Anoop John — May 25, 2008 @ 02:33 | Reply

  19. @all- Nice discussion.
    @Gov-Winning isn’t everything;its the only thing. You are right !! Believe so, then, even if you loose, is just because you deserve something much more coveted.

    Comment by manu — May 25, 2008 @ 08:00 | Reply

  20. @all finally, that is how we prove: we all are losers !!

    Comment by manu — May 25, 2008 @ 18:11 | Reply

  21. “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you an idiot”- Leo Durocher 😉

    Comment by Gov — May 26, 2008 @ 13:46 | Reply

  22. @Gov:- Why all are too much worried/concerned about winning. Real winners will not be like this. Then I am a reasonably good looser, though it may be for better gains.(Please don’t sent your photo ;))

    Comment by manu — May 26, 2008 @ 14:08 | Reply

  23. The wavering multitude is divided into opposite factions….like ur comment 🙂

    Comment by Gov — May 26, 2008 @ 15:59 | Reply

  24. @Gov I am sorry I don’ t understand. But please dont tell me

    “I can give you an explanation, but cannot guarantee and understanding”
    – C. N. Yang

    Comment by manu — May 26, 2008 @ 18:40 | Reply

  25. Explanation goes like – wavering thoughts split you mind into opposite groups and start fighting inside. So if you desire something, just unleash yourself(that include brain also ok 😉

    Comment by Gov — May 26, 2008 @ 21:16 | Reply

  26. Gulp is it actually the entry I wrote that brought about all this! Are we still talking about success?
    Anyway to each his own view. I may say success is this and the rest of the world may say success is that.

    Comment by Cris — May 26, 2008 @ 21:25 | Reply

  27. @Cris – Never underestimate the power of your words and actions. Your words and actions could have far reaching consequences that could possibly never even have been envisaged by you. :). You might want to check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

    Comment by Minking Than — May 26, 2008 @ 23:55 | Reply

  28. @Gov I am sorry, still I cant understand it. I admit my mind is not free of wavering but I cant identify two factions as you suggested. Could you please pointout what are they ?

    @Cris It think success is like a musical score. Every one fits their own lyrics into it. But the score is more or less fixed. There are other options, or you can make a new score. But it is certainly an experiment with life, which includes so many intermediate success and failures. So be careful when you say “this”.

    @Minking Than:- So you are also interested in Chaos theory ? I am very much interested in Chaos theory. So I choose it as my topic of research. Work and fellowship finished so writing the thesis.

    Comment by manu — May 27, 2008 @ 12:01 | Reply

  29. “set out to get the love of the one he loved. Now this is a tough situation. If his loved one rejects his love, does it mean total failure to him? Did he not have the happiness of loving her? And like people say if his love is unselfish, what matters to him is the loved one is happy whoever she is with. So again the purpose matters. For someone who’d be happy loving her and wanting her happiness, it is still success if he could find happiness there.”
    That is how true love works.. It always wants the one you love to be happy even if it means losing her forever.. Hatred. Is out of question.. sometimes we have to win by losing..

    Unless you have failed atleast once you won’t know the true value of success..(My Belif)

    Comment by Javed Miandad — February 11, 2012 @ 16:54 | Reply


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