– George Patton
Success Is Very Confusing
Success is perhaps one of the most elusive, confusing and sometimes a devastating experience. We all want to be very successful and happy in life. There is no doubt about that. Who doesn’t like to achieve the heights in our career, life, relationships and everything that really matters to us. It sure is a beautiful world to be a part of. Although we wrote about the 8 golden rules for goal setting to ensure success in life, we also realize the other side of the story.
Something very interesting about success is that it comes with a partner of its own and you guessed it right – Failure, in other words hitting rock bottom. It is as simple as this – when we want to go out of our way to achieve something in life, it entails risks. Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without these risks in life. It not only means that we can experience a great deal of success when we achieve our goals, but it also exposes us to getting hurt and feeling all those emotions. But we cannot let the fear of hurt overtake the enthusiasm of action cos the fear is not going to set us free – The Greatest Mistake that we will ever make in life is living in constant fear that we are going to make one.
By now, we all have realized that. We all have had our share of failures and irritating outcomes in life and all of them have sometimes put us down and sometimes brought out a brilliant spirit in us. If we read our success stories or failure stories, we see that quite commonly. All those big successes in life are the ones at least at some point of time who have failed big, who have failed to achieve their initial goals. I am sure all these success stories had an element of fear, but it did not deter them from action – the only thing that would set them free, a decision to consciously bounce back from this rock bottom.
What Happened And What They Did
But what it did to them is more important than what happened in their lives. How they used these failures and made them count, what they thought when they realized that their actions are being met by failure. Did they give up and throw their hands in the air and say that life was over? Or did they say, wait a minute, there is a bigger message here, there is a deeper meaning here, it is just telling me something is not right. It is just telling me that this rock bottom is indeed not the bottom, there is light somewhere.
The Bigger Picture
It is asking me to swallow my ego and look at the larger picture – the larger picture which can take me closer to what I want in life – not what I detest. It pushed them to focus on what they want rather than what they were focussing on and hence a success story was born. Of course it looks very easy from the outset. They all had strong psychologies, they had better resources, support of people around them and so on or that is what we would like to think sometimes so that it becomes easy to rationalize our inactions.
But truth be told, I am sure that they had their own share of problems. Some even wondered where their next meal was coming from. All of these so called success stories seem to make life very simplistic. Probably that is what Abdul Kalam meant when he said – Read failure stories, they will get you ideas .
We All Fall And Sometimes Real Bad
All of us fall down, sometimes right on our face. Sometimes we all are humiliated either by the society or the people around us and sometimes by our own expectations as well. But we have to do something stronger here. As Randy Pausch says – “You cannot change the cards you are dealt with but you can decide what to do with them”
Most times we do not have control over the outcomes but we sure do have control over what we do about them. And that is what George Patton means when he says success in not how high one climbs, but how well one bounces back when they hit rock bottom.
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