What makes people successful? In my younger days, I would think it was formal education and knowledge. But that wasn’t available to all. So it seemed unfair in the larger scheme of things in the world. Coz some- the little less privileged, were deprived of the sources and resources that would help them attain success in life.

Growing up broadened my horizon to some extent when I saw some of the ones that seemed successful were not happy. It changed the whole meaning of the word ‘success’ to me..it actually widened the term. So earlier success meant money and fame, but gradually the measures began to include and assign more weight to contentment and happiness. So if you weren’t happy, how were you even successful?

Now, what were the things people did in a professional capacity that made them happy? This I learned over the years when I saw some of my close relatives, friends, and people in my family excel. And so I had a closer look at their lives- it turned out that the ones who gave more weight to values, ethics, empathy and were righteous and honest in business over numbers and short term achievements (let’s say ‘material benefits’), seemed happier and more content. They had happier people around them professionally and personally, could spend quality time with family (however little), were loved and respected by all.

So success isn’t about just money and fame. They are only by-products of good thoughts and good work. Don’t we often say, “He/ She is a good person”?, I am talking about all these ‘good people’ who we wish well for, vouch for their goodness and always hope and pray for their well being. They are the successful ones, brightening lives as they walk-through. And that really means being successful to me!

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  1. An interesting debate on what makes someone successful. I am with you on that, it’s about ethical values, principles and adopting a balanced as well as holistic approach to success. I believe Bhutan was one of the country making the lead to economic growth by adding Index of Happiness as a yardstick. Success is such a relative term for me. There are many people who lacked the means to access education but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happy, intelligent or successful. Alternately, many people with degrees didn’t make money. Would they be called failures?

    1. I am glad someone resonates with the thought. And yes, I often wonder and discuss with my friends and family about money being a wrong benchmark or considered as the only means to happiness and fame. But I guess, that’s the way the world is.
      Regarding people who availed good education but couldn’t make money, I think they aren’t really failures. It should be about contentment. As long as one has close ones around, and make fairly enough even for a simple living, they have achieved it. Having uncordial relationships because money was chosen over loved ones…that in my opinion is failure.

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