It feels good to be back here after a hiatus largely due to my mother’s death over 9 months ago. In as much as I feel ashamed to admit it, I was really hit by this one. Mostly because I did not see it coming, so I wasn’t prepared for the shock, kind of. I had to start “preaching” to myself all the sermons and motivational stuff I was accustomed to telling others. Indeed, I learnt a great lesson from that experience, knew myself better and I have grown as a result of it. You know, it is very easy to tell others to cheer up, be bold and all that stuff, but when you face a similar situation, it’s a different ball game.
It was Albert Einstein who said “adversity introduces a man to himself” I couldn’t agree more with that saying. Until life hits you hard, until you hit rock bottom or face real adversity, you never can tell what your actions or reactions would be. I have learnt to be more empathetic, human, sensitive to the feelings of others and gentle with the frailties of failings of other people. You never know until you find yourself in the same spot.
This year, I want to start with a series of blogs on success. Why success you may ask? My response is simple: inbuilt in every human being is a strong desire to succeed. Nobody wants to fail or be seen as a failure. So, based on my study of successful people, my own little success and what life has taught me in my over four decades of existence, I will attempt to share some of these principles which I believe we all need to learn and imbibe to be successful.
For today, let’s focus on this aspect of success: Success means different things to different people. Quit comparing yourself to others. You are unique in your own way. Growing up, our parents were used to comparing us to other kids. You’d hear comments like “see, Alex took first position in class, you are 39th out of a class of 40. What is wrong with you? Does Alex not have same number of eyes, head, ears and so on as you?” This is just one example; I am sure you had your own experiences too. Believe me, those comparisons rather than make us better, only ended up making us bitter, discouraged, jealous and feeling like failures. Someone once said it is better to fail being yourself than trying to imitate someone else.
To one man, success might be owing a mansion, to another it could be just being able to provide food for his family. One person’s definition of success could be abundant wealth and luxuries, while another just wants to live an exemplary life and raise Godly children. As you begin this new year, I encourage you start from the basics – define what success means to you. What is that thing or achievement that would give you the most satisfaction? Listen to your heart. Look inwards, find the answers to what success means to you from within, not outside.
Exercise: Get a book and ask yourself “if whatever you want in life is possible to get, what would you ask for? what would you desire?” That’s the starting point. Don’t let anyone set the standards for you. Never let anyone place a limit on what you are capable of achieving or becoming. Nobody has such rights over you and I say this with all certainty.
I would like to read your comments and thoughts on what success means to you. Please share your ideas, comments and questions. Let’s discuss. Till then, see you next week.