Last weekend, while basking in the euphoria of yet another long holiday in a year that frankly has seen a lot of less-productive days admist falling incomes due to the elections and crashing prices of crude oil; someone sends me a ping on my Blackberry.
I rush to the phone thinking it’s a credit alert from my bank. I am disappointed. But at least it’s an actual message not a Blackberry broadcast. Ever since the world gave everyone license to run their own private broadcasting station- the world has been quite noisy. Says the guy who is guilty of the same thing. Hypocrite.
Anyways, she is basically asking how and when I achieved success in my field. So I composed myself, crossed my legs, put on my poker face and all the while raced through my brain to find out the one singular event that was a turning point in my career. But no answers came.
I figure, she’s young in the game and hungry for quick answers. So I wrote back to her as a matter-of-fact that I don’t think I have achieved success yet. She sends me back a puzzled face. Obviously my personal profile and the number of huge corporations I had consulted for begged to differ from my answer.
Then I rephrase my answer. Success isn’t some destination anyone attains. It’s not like a World Cup or MTV Top 10 Countdown. Rather success is who we become. It’s about acceptance and giving. Accepting who you are- your gifts, quirks, talent, background, mistakes and circumstance. In accepting all of this, you find your “onlyness”. That thing which you alone are qualified for.
Only when you fully accept yourself can you freely give of yourself to others. Too many people shy away from doing this. They would rather model someone else than dare to be an original. Would rather blend in than stand out. Would rather copy than create. When you do this, it’s like locking your true self up. Like being in a closet about your sexuality or true religion.
Success is about finding what you alone are qualified to do. Find purpose in doing so, then choosing to master it. To dare to dream about becoming the best in it and disciplining yourself to becoming it. It’s a never ending journey. Different people reach success at different stages. A jailed billionaire may not feel much like a success. A pregnant nun definitely doesn’t feel very successful in being fertile. An ex-President who is applauded even after he failed his re-election bid certainly doesn’t feel very successful. It is entirely subjective.
True success is finding out what you love and doing it over and over and over again. Till it feels just right. Success is about Mastery and Purpose.