by Vivek Ray
What is success? For different people success will mean different things. In this material world success is often equated with money one has and the kind of lifestyle one affords. Normally a person who lives in a big house or drives a fancy car or holds a good position in his office appears to be successful in the eyes of the world Success for most is achieving goals that gives them joy or pleasure. But unfortunately these achievements give short lived joy and this feeling of success is often a delusion. It is like a mirage after which the person runs and eventually forgets the very reason for which he is running.
In order to live a life of true success, it is vital that success is explained. Life has so many facets, and each of them is important to us. What will a person do with a lot of money, if he looses his peace of mind and health, gets away from his family and friend, feels in- secured, and ultimately unhappy? Of course, this can not be termed as success.
So again, what is success? Success is actually a balance of a number of factors in life that makes our life worth living. A person having a lot of wealth and creating more of it, but destroys his relationships and happiness in the process has only a unidirectional success. A person who is financially well off and enjoys good relationship, but still feels unhappy has bi-directional success, but lacks balanced success. In my opinion one can be said to have a balanced success if he/she has:
- Reasonable wealth, prosperity and security
- Meaningful relationships &
Most people usually mistake things like achievements, entertainment, possessions for happiness. These things give joy but not happiness. Joy is momentary pleasure that we derive when our senses are gratified in this material world. Happiness is a permanent state of mind that is not dependent on the circumstances and situations. A person with lots of achievements, possessing all worldly possessions may still be unhappy, whereas a person who is struggling hard to make his ends meet may be happy.
Joy and pleasure are material, but happiness is spiritual. Happiness is a result of good health (physical, mental and spiritual) and having peace of mind. Good health is a result of discipline, faith, love, commitment, persistence and honesty. A healthy body and mind that is full of faith helps a person to do what is to be done, while running his life on values. This provides peace of mind and protects his spiritual wellbeing. On the contrary, a person who is not healthy physically can not enjoy life, and a person with unhealthy mind will sacrifice his values to acquire things that give him temporary joy and pleasure. Such a person will be spiritually bankrupt and have no peace of mind and therefore can never experience happiness.
Money is an important parameter of success. However, it does not mean that everyone needs to become a billionaire. But money is important for us to provide us with what we require. Reasonable wealth means having enough money that can take care of all our needs. Of course, needs will vary from individual to individual, and so will the meaning of reasonably wealthy. Some people say that money is the root of all evil. It is untrue. It is the greed for money that is the root of all evil. Money when accumulated immorally and for selfish interests destroys the person’s inner calm and in fact brings about insecurity Money when earned honestly can give peace of mind, comfort and a high level of security and be a source of immense joy. As a matter of fact prosperity can be a reward for the number of people you help to get what they want. And helping others is the finest source of happiness.
One of the most important aspects of balanced success is the relationship that one earns. Good relationships are the most important wealth that a person can accumulate in the life time. Relationships within the family and that with the friends are a constant source of joy and happiness as well as security. People most unfortunately in pursuit of material success, often neglect their relationships and in the end they find themselves lonely and unhappy. Such people in-spite of achieving so much remains unsuccessful in the end.
‘Hope’, I believe is the key to success. Hope that things will improve and become better is what makes a person go on in face of all challenges. If the hope is lost all is lost. We exercise and eat well with a hope of remaining physically healthy. We work hard with a hope to become prosperous. In fact you are reading this article with some hope. The word H.O.P.E. means Honest Optimism with Personal Efforts. When you are optimistic because of your honest faith and there fore makes personal efforts, it produces a result that helps you to become a success.