Until you acquire five essential ingredients - success will never be success.
Today there are many different definitions of success as there are human beings. And, there are those who claim with considerable proof, that the greatest failure of our times is success since we have come, more and more, to equate success solely with material possessions.
But is that all there is to success? Was Howard Hughes any happier or more at peace with himself when he doubled his first million dollars? Is that movie star, her safety-deposit box stuffed with diamonds, more content with life after she sheds her fourth husband for number five?
Perhaps you’ve been too busy making a living to ever give it more than a passing thought...
How do you define success?
Do others think you are a success?
Do you think so?
The last two questions are related, as the essence of the food is to the banquet table. If you want to fully enjoy the banquet, it is nice to have both. But if you have only one, it is certainly far better to have the banquet than to have the essence - for the essence is worthless alone. And it is quite worthless, and futile too, to have the whole world thinking that you are a success if you do not think so for yourself. The banquet table of success is your own inward knowledge of it. Given that, you do not necessarily need the acknowledgement of the outside world.
For whom are we succeeding? For someone else or ourselves?
Success, if it is to be meaningful, must be a personal thing. It varies from individual to individual as personality varies; indeed, it springs from the very depths were personality itself arises, and often it takes insightful probing to find out for ourselves what our own ideas of success actually are.
The most thoughtful among us conclude that personal success must exist inside if it is to exist at all. It cannot be composed of outward signs or appearances, but only of intangible personal values stemming from a mature philosophy.
One of the things that impressed the world the most about Mahatma Gandhi was the published photograph of all of his earthly possessions at the time he died; a pair of spectacles, a pair of sandals and a few simple items and a book. Yet the world knew that here had passed one of the richest of men.
A man is as rich in proportions of the things he can let alone. – David Thoreau
What of your “things” are you unwilling to let go?
This is not to say that poverty is the goal for success as many a great soul has been vastly surrounded by material possessions and formidable wealth. However, there are certain constant factors to be found in true success whether it is the success of an Andrew Carnegie or of a Mahatma Gandhi.
The first of the five constant factors is - purpose. One must know that in whatever he does he is moving toward a goal. Aimlessness is the worst enemy of success. As long as one has purpose he feels that his energy and creative thought are taking him “somewhere”, and there is satisfaction in the journey just as there is despair whenever we feel, as we often insightfully put it, that we are “getting nowhere”.