Understanding and Achieving Success


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by Jayaram V

In the following discussion we will focus upon how the meaning and value of success depend upon you and your understanding of it, how it may change from person to person depending upon the specific needs, purpose and circumstances that lead to it, and how people respond to success and failure in their own ways because of certain critical factors. We will conclude the discussion with a specific reference to the most common strategy used by many to achieve success.

How people understand and interpret success

Your understanding of success is always limited by your knowledge and expectations. The meaning of success also depends upon the person who achieves it, and the situation in which it is achieved. Hence, your experience of success may not necessarily correlate with the success or failure which you experience in life.

Success can be anything from winning an argument, solving a problem, wooing a person to establishing a business, or becoming the President of a country. For a teenager it can mean persuading her parents to let her buy a gadget or go to her friend’s place for a sleepover. A child may feel successful if he wins an electronic game or manages to impress his parents with his homework.

Thus, each success in life has a specific context, meaning and purpose. Since success has many connotations and subtle nuances, many people find it hard to define it or understand what success truly means to them. Many develop their notions of success based upon films and television serials or by reading about celebrities and popular personalities. Some confuse it with happiness and some with having something, such as a successful marriage, wealth, a big house, or power and influence.

How people respond to success

People's response to success, or how they experience it, also varies. Some are successful, but do not know that they are. Some do not accomplish much of anything in their lives, yet may feel as if they are successful. In majority cases, people measure their success by their expectations. If you expected to win a hundred dollars and won a thousand, that would be success in that context. However, if you expected a thousand dollars and won only three hundred, you would not think that it is success, although you may seek solace in the fact that you won something. While this is a useful criterion, it can also complicate our understanding and experience of success. If the expectations are high, moderate achievement may not make one happy. Conversely, if the expectations are low, moderate achievement may look like a big success.

The same goes true with comparison, and against whom or what you measure your success. If you compare yourself to people who are more successful than you, you may not feel successful. On the contrary, you may feel happy if you measure against those who are less successful. Thus, your choices, expectations, standards of success play an important role in your experience of success. /p>

Attitude and managing your expectations are equally important. How you view yourself, how satisfied you are with yourself, and how you treat yourself also play an important role. For such reasons, many people fail to appreciate themselves and their success, or they may sabotage their own success with self-destructive actions. Some begin with a lot of hope and enthusiasm on the path to success, but due to negativity lose their focus and zeal along the way. Some achieve success but fail to manage it and remain successful. If you are not careful, success can get into your head and blind you to the reality.

A common strategy to achieve success

There are many ways to achieve success. One of the simplest strategies is to align your success with your natural talents, abilities and mental faculties. Every person is unique and you have to discover what makes you unique and special and give an expression to it. The strategy involves the following steps.

  1. Know your strengths and weakness, and what you are good at. Consider it your god given natural resource. Choose it to be your means to abundance in life. Focus on using it and transforming it into success and prosperity. It can be an ability, talent or skill, with which you can help others or prove your excellence or value.
  2. Align your goals according to your strengths. Build your life, hopes and aspirations around them. Know that the best way to express yourself and prove your value and importance is to put your god given talents and resources to best use. There is no other way you to achieve success or manage success. It is also the best way to be in harmony with yourself.
  3. Keep persevering and keep trying, despite setbacks, failures and frustrations. The world is always slow in recognizing new talent, accepting it and embracing it. It is where your self-esteem, courage, and faith in yourself come to your aid. Do not let the world judge you. You may take any criticism as an opinion but not to lapse into self-pity.
  4. Have faith in yourself and your methods and keep trying. Remember your goal or goals and never lose sight of them.

There is no magic formula for success. Success comes to you to the extent you want it, and to the extent you are willing to work for it. However, you may also need luck at times, apart from right connections, right information, right resources, opportunities and facilitating factors. The trick is you must organize your life around goals for the things you need, want or enjoy. As you achieve more goals, the more successful you become. The second part of this strategy is you must learn from your failures. It helps you to grow from your failures instead of becoming stuck and feeling frustrated. It also gives you courage and hope in the face of failure to persevere in your effort. The third part of this strategy is that you must fully dedicate yourself to achieve it.

Not many people are ready for success because every successful endeavor demands its own price. To achieve success, you must be willing to make necessary sacrifices and rise above your expectations. You must constantly stay ahead in the race for success, and outwit and outsmart those against whom you compete. It means you must prepare for the battle and do the battle, with readiness to embrace the consequences. Lastly, but most importantly, you must know clearly what success means to you, why you want to achieve success and how you are going to make use of your success in your life. Having clarity in this regard will save you from many problems that arise from success.

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