Saturday, July 16, 2016

Secrets of Success

What does it mean to succeed? Youngsters seem to think that becoming extremely rich means to be successful. But if we study the lives of people who have attained great success, they never started out with the sole aim of becoming rich. If you compare success with an Iceberg, then what we look at is just the tip of the iceberg- the riches and fame of successful people. However, hid deep is the journey filled with risks, sacrifices, persistent hard work in the face of failures. So what is crucial to achieve success?

Richard St. John- marketing guru, photographer, writer and motivational speaker was asked the same question. What are the secrets of success? He went on and interviewed nearly 500 successful people, right from businessmen, sportsmen, hollywood actors to nobel prize winners. He analysed all these interviews and assorted the keywords that came across repeatedly in all these interviews. He called them the 8 secrets of success or 8 to be great”.

Passion: At a very young age, we all have some unique interests. We should try to nurture them. We should also be open to experiences and explore the world around us, to find out what excites us. We should be mindful of our gut feelings, as more than often we find our passion serendipitously. This can happen at any age and in the most unlikeliest of ways. Watch for it! Is it possible that our passions may change? Quite possibly, as we go on experiencing life, our interests may change and we may discover more wonderful things. Passion is a dynamic entity which may change through one’s life. Nonetheless, whatever we end up with, we have to develop a passion for it. As Steve Jobs says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. ”

Work: There is no replacement for hard work. If you have to see the magnificent view from the Himalayas, you have to risk it all and take the strenuous climb to the top. There is no elevator which will take you there. Never post-pone work, it's now or never, just do it! Talent is over-rated in our society. However, Tim Notke says, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. Some think that successful people are just plain lucky, but as Gary Player says, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” We all have dreams, but dreams don’t work, unless you do!

Focus: We are familiar with the figure of speech, Jack of all trades, master of none. Focus all your energies on what you want the most. Make measurable, realistic and tangible goals Focus on the task at hand, and forget everything else. Starve your distractions, feed your focus. You may even have to sacrifice few things which you like, for achieving things you love.

Push: You are on your own, in this journey to success. You have to keep motivating and pushing yourself in the face of obstacles. Keep telling yourself that problems are opportunities to excel. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you! Push your limits, get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Push yourself through self-doubt. Don’t believe everything that goes on in your mind. Don’t believe what others may opine about you. Opinions are not facts! Push yourself through shyness, grab every opportunity with both hands!

Ideas: Be creative and have innovative ideas. Think outside the box! Don’t just follow the herd! When that apple fell on Newton’s head, he got curious and started asking a lot of questions to himself. If Newton was not so observant, he wouldn’t have got this path-breaking idea which changed the course of Physics.

Improve: Nobody is perfect! We all have to strive everyday to enhance our skills and abilities. Improvement begins with I. Stop getting discouraged by the situation around you. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20. You are your own benchmark. Be the better version of yourself!

Serve: Make sure your skills are of some use to the world around you. Swami Vivekananda said, “Service to man is service to God.” Helping others to succeed is a sure shot way for you to succeed.

Persist: Failures are part of life. Persisting in the face of failure is the key to great success. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.That is why I succeed.” Charlie Chaplin was rejected numerous times during auditions stating his art is silly! But he didn’t quit.

Finally, how do you know you have succeeded? If you are contented and love what you are doing in your life, then you are successful. However, don’t stop there, as success is a journey and not a destination!

(This is an excerpt from the motivational lecture i gave to tenth grade students at my Alma mater, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, Alike on 8th July, 2016)

Credits: Richard St. John: Secrets of success in 8 words

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