Success is what dreams are made of. It’s all about making it in life. To be successful in life is a universal dream. However, it’s a fact that only a few become successful.
The path to success is to take massive, determined action. It is not what we get but who we become, what we contribute that gives meaning to our lives.
– Anthony Robbins
Though there are thousands of books published on this topic, the situation largely remains the same. Why is it that only a few become successful? What is the most important reason for this stagnation? Though everyone wants to become successful; it is certain that not many have an idea about what success really means to them. Or rather, they are not very sure about what they actually mean by success in life.
‘Success’ is a realtive term. Its definition varies from person to person. Most individuals define success on the basis of someone else’s success. It could be a person quite successful in your city or could be a person whom one might know through the media or he / she could also be a person who is successful in the same profession as you are in. There are many who benchmark the lives of others for defining their own success in life. They desire to have a life like the one enjoyed by successful people.
Success of a person in one’s same profession or a person who became rich in one’s village does inspire all. But that should never become a benchmark for determining one’s own success as the parameters for measuring success vary from person to person.
For some the yardstick for success is measured by money while for some it is related to name and fame. For some success is linked to a happy and satisfied life and for some others it is all about social service. For some success is reflected in a luxurious lifestyle while for others it is all about simple living.
In short, each person has a different perception towards a successful life. What one considers as most valuable may not hold any value to another individual.
Hence, if you try to copy someone else’s success pattern, the end result would be nothing else but a distressing failure.
Thereby, it is imperative that we have a clear idea about the parameters that govern our own success. Those who never achieve anything worthwhile in their life, stumble because they have no idea about what to achieve in their life.
Before you read further, please try and answer the following
- What do I value the most in my life?
- What are the things, which I am not ready to sacrifice under any circumstance?
- What are the principles I uphold and the philosophy that I follow in my life?
- How do I like to be remembered?
- What is my life’s purpose?
You may close this book for some time and write down the answers for the aforesaid questions. This step is very essential and will help one link the ideas in this book with one’s own life.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
You are at a railway reservation counter and as you ask for two tickets, will the reservation clerk issue the tickets? Never.
Instead he would ask: ‘Where do you want to go?’ Even if you answer the query, he won’t issue the ticket unless he knows your exact destination.
These are the ultimate two questions that all of us face in life. At certain point in life one might know the destination but might not know the exact location. One cannot go anywhere without knowing the answers to these two questions. From the moment you wake up and through the day, you are constantly asking yourself these questions and also answering them without realizing the existence of these questions.
You can say that you have successfully answered these questions every time you reach your office or the supermarket or the cinema hall. Even for the smallest journeys you undertake in life you have to answer these questions. If the case is so, then what about the longest journey in your life, i.e. life itself?
In the journey called ‘life,’ you need to constantly ask yourself these questions: ‘Where do I want to reach, when do I get there, and most importantly how do I get there?’
You will never get the ticket to a successful life without answering these questions. And, if you have no answers to these questions, then you would just remain a mere witness to all the trains that arrive and depart; more precisely you witness each episode in your life without realizing its importance or worth and just waste away life without adding any meaning to it.
I believe almost 95 percent people in this world are just roaming on the platform wondering which train to catch. These people may also get into some train and travel for some time and might then pause and think, ‘I don’t think this is where I need to go.’
Subsequently, they will get down, catch the next train and will again get down and wait for the next. They are confused. You can see many such people around you. They will try something for some time and then quit and do something else for a few years and then again quit. This happens because they have no idea about where they are heading towards or where they want to reach in life. Here is a typical case study: Ramesh was working in a private company and he always felt that he was being underpaid. In order to generate some additional income he started a part-time business. Within a few months he realized that it’s not easy to
make money from business. He started thinking of new avenues. That’s when the thought of his dream of becoming a musician. As luck would have it, a violin teacher, who taught violin in schools, came to live as a tenant in his neighbouring house. Ramesh felt that God had sent this violin teacher for him, so that he may pursue his dream of learning music.
He bought a violin and started going for classes every evening. It did not take much time for him to realize that playing the violin was not as simple as was listening to a concert. All of a sudden he started feeling that he was too old to learn a musical instrument and stopped attending the classes. One evening, while having tea with his friends, he became aware of the infinite opportunities in the real estate market. The major advantage he found in this was that he was not required to work. It was just about buying plots of land and selling; it was as simple as that. He joined the other four friends and decided to step into the most exciting and lucrative real estate market! He convinced his wife about the unbelievable opportunities in his new venture and convinced her to pledge her gold ornaments for raising the capital required for the new business. The ‘Friends Consortium’ paid the advance for a piece of land with the intention of selling it and making a huge profit. Precisely at that time, the market crashed and there were no buyers! Such was the situation that they did not even have enough money to register the land in their name and the advance they had paid went down the drain.
‘How many times have I told you that you can never succeed in business,’ said his angry wife. He then promised his wife that he was putting an end to all these ventures and that he will be satisfied with whatever money he earned from his regular job.
However, the story did not end here.
One day, he got a surprise call from his childhood friend, who told Ramesh that he would like to meet him to share a life-changing idea. Ramesh was zapped when, over a cup of coffee, his friend ran through some numbers and introduced a ‘Money Chain’ scheme to him. His friend also showed him the cheques he had been getting on a weekly basis from the company. As the investment was only Rs 2,000, Ramesh decided to try his luck. He decided that he would inform his wife only after he had made some money. He enrolled many people into the scheme and was thrilled to see that his network had more than six hundred people in just a span of three months.
While he was dreaming about owning a Mercedes and a 7,000 sq ft house, the company wound up suddenly. As people had invested believing his words, a huge amount of money had to be paid back to the people in the network.
‘It seems my time is bad. I am getting stuck with bad luck,’
Ramesh consoled himself.
In the above case study, Ramesh is one of those passengers who gets into one train and after a few stations realises that this is not where he wants to go and keeps changing his train and destination. The reason being – he has no idea about where he wanted to reach. After getting disappointed several times he gets into a depressive mood and develops a negative attitude towards life and gives wrong interpretations to people’s behavior and situations. He finds life very tough and full of challenges.
If you approach him for an advice, he would say: ‘This is not the right place to do anything. Don’t waste your time energy, and money in doing business. Just look at me. What not have I tried and yet I have never succeeded in anything. If anyone is successful, it is only because of sheer luck.’
This ‘negative syndrome’ does not just stop with him. He would always talk about his failures in life to others and would try and enforce his views, in a way try and convince others about how unfriendly the world is; and this negativity in turn becomes contagious, it spreads from one to another. As his children grow up in this kind of an environment, they are bound to have a negative attitude towards life. They will automatically start subscribing to a belief system which propagates that if anyone is successful, it is because of sheer luck. The thought process of such an individual can lead to a social disaster. Once he starts sharing his thoughts, he would be surrounded by others who also subscribe to the same thought process. When more and more people think that the world is not a friendly place and that success is just a matter of luck, it becomes a deep entrenched philosophy that will hurt everyone and affect the self-esteem of one and all.
The advice that these negative people offer their children would as a result be very disheartening.
‘Son, I have tried many things, worked very hard, still couldn’t reach anywhere. Life is full of hardships. This is not the right place for anyone to start a business. Lucky are those people who become successful. Don’t expect big things in life. Learn to live with what you get and be happy and satisfied with what you have.’
Facing such a situation in life the failed individual is never able to understand that he could not reach his dream destination because of just one reason – he did not know where he wanted to reach! A person without a purpose and goal in life is a liability for the society. Leave alone the fact that he will not succeed in his life, and would create a negative environment and attitude in
his family, society and in the entire world. He becomes a major liability to the world. From this we can conclude that when one creates a dream and goal in one’s life, his family and society also benefit from his success. He/she becomes a role model and an example for everyone to learn and follow.
This book is particularly of help to people who have set their goals in life and for those who know where they want to reach and what they want to accomplish in their own journey called life. This book is not about ‘Goal Setting’ or ‘Dream Building’. This book will serve to be a boon for those, who have set some goals and know where they want to reach in life, and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach there. For people who are still not clear about what they want to accomplish in life, once again I recommend you to close this book for some time and answer the following questions:
What do I value the most in my life?
What are the things, which I am not ready to sacrifice in my life, under any circumstance?
What are the principles I uphold in my life and what is the philosophy I follow in my life?
How do I like to be remembered?
What is the purpose of my life?