Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Defining Success

“A man who worked as a ticketing officer in a theme park died. When he got to heaven, he was asked to choose the type of heaven he wants to spend eternity in. Since he never really liked his life, his began to explore all the possible heavens he had secretly lusted after through his seemingly (in his own point of view) meaningless life. To help him decide, a presentation was shown of his life. At the end of the presentation, he came up conclusion:
The only heaven where he could make a meaning was to remain a ticketing officer at a theme park”
Source: Unknown

We all have a misconception about what success is. And this misconception spurs from all the information we have been loaded with over the years. The average individual is bombarded with over 8 billion unit of information daily. Like a puzzle, the brain attempts using the information it processes (approximately 250 million of that) as guide to understanding the world, and in developing survival strategies.

In our myopic view of the world, we have come to associate success with things that everyone can associate with; things we love to happen. Wealth and career progression are some of such. And this standard is hidden in the information we process, the methods we apply in drawing conclusions, how we converse, how we develop expectations and pass judgments.

But what truly is success? When can we say a man has become greater than himself? Within each one of us lies than desire imbedded within our consciousness. Once a child becomes conscious of its environment, there is a sparks within (sometimes doused in competition) to aspire above understanding of self within the known world. Because of our mental mapping, we use information available to define what that means; and there lies the root of our problem. A problem because, if success is restricted to only those who are, wealthy, experts in influencing people, excellent sales men, and leaders, then less than 5% of the population would truly live successful lives. The remaining 95% would be locked in a mechanical struggle toward attaining what the society conceives as ‘successful’ (a struggle capable of removing the essence of living from life) especially when intentions/ priorities are wrongly placed; when they don’t align the individual’s true conviction of self.

The degree to which a civilization succeeds is determined by how purposeful it is; how aligned its vision is with the character of the people forged by their fundamental nature. Reason being that purpose remains the greatest motivator and organizer of labour; everyone doing what he is convinced he was born to do. If life is a script, success is playing your part, whatever that part might be. It is in understanding that our individual configurations are different, so our aspiration should be dictated by self and not by standards; by what we internally are convinced summarized our life purpose.

Till we pass on, our central purpose would remain to discover what our purpose truly is, as all we know is what has happened. What will happen is still a mystery that can only be harnessed when we prepare; when we prepare by
• listening to ourselves to understanding what we are made of
• Making our search for all knowledge be about discovering who we are (not mapping out what we should desire).