‘There is no shortcut to success’ – goes an old saying. People define success in their own ways. One definition of success is to be able to spend one’s life in one’s own way. I prefer to examine the facts and see if there is any merit in this definition. Life itself has got different interpretations by people. I would call life a mirror that smiles back if you smile and groans if you do so. Thus pending life in one’s own ways has several implications.
Life of an individual cannot be viewed in isolation. The surroundings and people around are an inherent part of one’s life. From the time an individual is born, there is a constant interaction with the outside world. The initial years pass with most interaction only with parents and other family members. The next phase takes up the level of school, where the individual learns to accept other’s presence in life – of teachers, friends, students, staff et al. This phase takes a more serious form in college and office where age and maturity teach the individual to become a person. The person is in constant touch with so many others. In the process, goals and ambition take a form in the person’s psyche. The endeavors also keep going. Right from childhood there is a constant striving to achieve something or the other – may be ranks in school, admission to a college or a dream job. The urge to succeed is thus born out of the ambition and spirit of competition. Thus spending life in one’s own way would imply achieving the set goals in the course of life. From the above, we can definitely agree that life cannot be led in isolation but should be a process where there are many others with us. Then there arises the question of accommodating others in our life. In course of leading our own life we cannot ignore others and to be able to lead life in our own way depends on how successfully we are able to convince others to let us lead our own life in our own ways. For example, a person may want to spend life by creating trouble in other’s lives, which will not be acceptable to the society. The person should then mend his ways and live to other’s expectations as well. That would be success.
A goal is the prerequisite for striving for success. A person may set his goal to accumulate wealth. Another person may want to achieve the education in the best college. Goals can be altruistic. For example, Mother Teresa’s goal was to serve the mankind, and she did so very successfully. Mother Teresa has definitely achieved success. In a January issue of Business World magazine, an author mentions that he has worked on several jobs. He would set a goal and achieve it within the time-frame that he had in mind but could never feel the happiness of achievement after every success. Finally he steps in as a freelance writer and that’s what gives him the utmost satisfaction. This, he calls as the real success. In this case, the definition of success has to be qualified – to be able to spend your life in your own way and to be able find satisfaction in that way.
It rarely happens that a successful person is satisfied. In his book ‘The seven habits of highly successful people’, Stephen Covey talks of discipline and dedication to achieve success. Learning from one’s failure is also success. When a person is not able to live the way desired, the real success lies in the ability to redefine the way and live it.
To be able to spend life in our own way does not imply success but to be contented with that way denotes success.