The Secret of Success

I recently attended a telephone interview for a gig I applied for. The interviewer was a knowledgeable guy and he beat me up royally with intelligent questions which got me dumbfound more than once (I got selected at the end anyway ;-). Although it was bitter to go through the whole experience, I was doubly inspired to be more knowledgeable than him and gave myself a years time. I drew up a strategy on how I’d get there. And on retrospect, I think sometimes such harsh-shocks are needed in life.. otherwise you get “too” comfortable “too” quickly.

I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers – Kahlil Gibran

Success is a variable target and the path to it is filled with puzzles in a maze with outcome of each having a potential to affect us personally in multitude of ways. That’s why, I believe, it is all the more important to set realistic mile stones to reach. More than often, journey to success feels dreadful. Stephen King puts it – “Sometimes you have to go on even if you don’t feel like it and sometimes you are doing good work when it feels like all you are managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position”

Success boils down to how much you really want it. In there is an inspiring story dealing with success and its worth paying a visit –

A young man asked Socrates the secret of success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him into the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and swiftly ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled the boy’s head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air. Socrates asked him, “what did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air”. Socrates said, “That is the secret of success! When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it!” There is no other secret.

Desire being the foundation, Courage, Compassion, Perseverance and Integrity form its pillars. What is courage without knowing the consequences, right. A child will touch a flame if (s)he doesn’t understand the concept of heat. But perception from a third-person point of view could make it seem like courage, although it was by no means courage, but in fact ignorance. And for a truly courageous person to not be compassionate is like Gandhi going on violence.. This reminds me of something from Gandhi’s – during Sathyagraha, people formed long lines supporting Gandhi’s ideology and the British officer is taking each one out with a strong blow throwing them to the ground. To know that you are the next in the line and the blow is going to throw you to the ground (it might even break your skull) and still have the courage to go through because you believe in the ideology – how can I define courage any better? Its human to fight back but its divine to have the courage to over come it .

OK – let me try not to go off in tangent here. We all know the classic example of learning to ride a bike. Falling off the bike is inevitable, but that’s just a step towards learning to ride a bike. On these lines, Failure is a mandatory course and every person aspiring for success should graduate it (as in, understand it, appreciate it and learn from it). But if you cheat by saying that you are riding the bike but not doing it, its setting yourself up for a failure – inevitable my friend!

And the jewels, Perseverance and Integrity – used along with these factors, will make success come and kiss your feet.

Discipline makes success more predictable forming a nice little roof to your building of success. And of course, the flag that flies high on your tomb will ultimately become your attitude. If you grow arrogant (out of it OR if that’s what you are), that is what you will be waving at people, irrespective of what your foundation is.

Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength – Henry Ward Beecher

Success is not easy and that’s what makes it so appealing. You can paint whatever you want to this building of Success, but your ultimate strength to reach success are going to lie in those fundamental building blocks.

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