The term success may hold different meanings for different people depending on which stage of life you are at.
If you are in your glorious college years, success may mean the tag of being the most popular person in your group of friends, if you are looking to start your career it could mean getting your dream job or working for your favorite brand, if you are already in a job it could mean a good profile and a handsome salary package, for a young girl it could mean finding the right life partner, for a businessman a great deal and for a new mother like me, it means giving the best environment of growth and development to my baby and making sure she knows there is someone in this world who would always stand beside her, like I said….different people, different meanings.
But one thing is for sure, we all want to be successful at whatever we do, however big or small it may be, it is the only aim we work for. But still, no matter how hard we all try, it is a fortunate few who achieves success to the scale they set out for, these are the ambassadors of good luck who know the secret address to destination success and the right paths to get there.
What are these paths after all, i have often wondered! I grew up to highly successful parents who had worked hard right from their childhood to shape their careers and are now reaping the benefits of it, while others of their age are sitting at home and wondering what to do with their free time, my parents are managing their high profile jobs and running from morning till night with the energy of a 20 year old.
Naturally, I grew up hearing that success comes to those who work hard for it and I do not doubt it at all but still today when I look around, I see a lot of people working hard, real hard, day and night and still just hardly managing their daily essentials. So can hard work alone be attributed to for achieving success, maybe there is something more that matters too…..maybe they are born smart or talented.
Maybe they plan better, have high focus or good contacts in the right places or they are just plain lucky.
A list of could-be other factors runs through my mind, and as I mentally shift from one point to another placing them in a hierarchy of most important to least in a top down order, I think of other factors I can add to the list like timely action, risk taking behavior, determination, perseverance and so on but somehow even after building the most comprehensive list of personal traits I can think of that help us in being successful, I was certain there was something missing, something I couldn’t put a finger at but still knew wasn’t there. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you have a grand buffet served in front of you and you still can’t find that one dish you are looking for.
And then one day while waiting for a metro at the underground kings cross station of London, I found my answer ……..the last place I expected to be enlightened at I must add. The urban London market offers some great summer deals during the hot months of july and august and it was at the end of one such shopping–as-if-there-is-no-tomorrow expeditions that I was returning to my hotel and climbing the stairs of the upbeat metro station when an old woman approached me for some money. She had a small hat upside down in her right hand which she was using to collect the coins .In the other she was carrying a small placard, which displayed a three word message in broken handwriting, it said, “Give with love”.
There is something about short messages that catches your attention and probes you to think hard! Simple and short, this was one such message for me.
Two years down the line after the incident, I knew exactly what she meant while delivering my first baby. A human body can bear only up to 45 del (unit) of pain. Yet at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 del (unit ) of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time. In that sense it is an extraordinary feat that every mother achieves in her life.
And yet, during the most painful hours of my life, I had a sense of happiness in my heart and the pain just looked like a big road block that I needed to cross before I could see the first glimpses of my baby. It is love and only love that can make a woman bear the excruciating labor pains and never even remember what she went through a few seconds back while holding her baby in her arms for the very first time.
And as I peeped into the sleepy most beautiful pair of eyes in the world, I realized that moment it was possible to make each dream a reality with the magic of love. It is this love in your heart which is all that it takes to make you achieve the most arduous tasks in the world and makes you succeed at whatever you do.
And when you have so much love in your heart for your goal or action, it transcends to everything and everyone around you . It is this love that the old lady at the London station was talking about in her message.
It is this love for the environment that made Lewis Pugh, a British environmental campaigner to be the first person in the world to undertake a swim at the North Pole across a glacial lake under the summit of Mount Everest in 2010. Pugh describes the water as “fucking freezing” in one of his TED talks at oxford, but it was something he dreamt of doing since he was 6 years old. It was his love for the environment that gave him the strength to undertake this arduous task and accomplish it.
But it is not just the mountaineers, the swimmers, the bungee jumpers, delivering mothers or any other heroes of physical and mental strength who experience and practice love for their work. All of us in our own spheres are capable of transforming our actions and their results with the sheer power of love.
For it is love that rules all that we see and experience about this world.
If you love your job, going to the office everyday becomes a reason to get up in the morning instead of a necessary evil, if you love your books and the subjects you are studying slogging late nights becomes an exploration instead of a drag, if you love driving even the routine ride to your office everyday becomes an adventure…it’s all about finding love and a belief you can relate to in all that you do.
You can travel long hours without rest just to be the first person to wish happy birthday to your loved one, you can sweat long hours over the kitchen counter to make your partners favorite dish just to see that surprised loving smile on her face, if you have love for teaching you can produce not just smart students but wonderful human beings, if you have love for humanity you can run your business like you run a charity and still make profits and it is this power of love that you need to nurture not just for people in your life but for every piece of work that you undertake, in each and every action you perform.
“We can connect in some magical ways to the world around us if we have love in our heart.”
“For love is not just that connects you to another person, it is what connects you to the rest of the world.”
“The first step to achieving success in anything that you undertake is true love in your heart for it. This love can take many names, it can be called passion, willingness or faith or desire or just simply a bond that connects you and your whole being to whatever you do.”
It can be compared to the seeds of the success tree you wish to grow in your life. Hard work, faith, perseverance, timely action, planning and everything else follows naturally if you have genuine love for what you do.
My sister can tell you stories of how she was completely scared of waking me up at in the mornings, as she complained of how much I shouted at her in my sleep. But I just couldn’t help it. If I was woken up even half an hour before I was scheduled to get up, I would feel lethargic the entire day. And then I got a baby who loved to wake up every half an hour in the night to check and make sure she is not alone and to be patted back to sleep but that patting was enough to wake me up and then I would find it hard to get back to seep sometimes for the entire night and still the next morning, when my angel got up all relaxed and fresh and wanted to play I was up with a smile ready to play and have fun with her.
My body felt tired and refused to get into action but there was a voice that told me there was no way I could miss playing with my little princesses and see her dimpled giggles for anything in this world.
If you are willing and are guided by love, you would work hard, make and follow plans, be innovative, take risks and do everything that you should be doing to make your work successful, to achieve the desired results and in all this you would not even notice, lest be discouraged by the obstacles that come in your path but if the willingness does not exist, every small problem would look like a giant mountain blocking your path and stopping you from achieving success and your mind would find excuses for how it cannot be done.
Before you take up anything in your life, be it a relation, a task, a career or a goal, ask yourself are you willing for it ….
…if the answer is no, the chances of you being a huge success are already greatly reduced as half of your efforts and resources will now be consumed and wasted in your efforts for fighting against your own willingness than in completing the task.
“For a touch with love is romance and passion …….and the one without it harassment and exploitation.”
On the other hand if you pick a task willingly your energy is doubled propelled by the positivism and push that comes from within and a sense of fulfillment that motivates you even during the course of the activity without having to wait for achievement and rewards at the completion of the job.
Consider this, count the number of times you reached late to a movie that you never wanted to miss, a football match you had been looking forward to all year, a date with your biggest crush compared to the number of times you missed a office meeting, a compulsory business gathering or a formal get together you are socially obliged to attend. No prizes for guessing who wins!
And when you have this magical love in your heart for your goal, strangers come from nowhere to help you and old friends reconnect, bad mornings turn to sunny days and even the grouchy boss shares a smile.
So success it seems is not just for heroes but for all those who know how to make room for the things and people they love in their life.
Be guided by love for it is the only secret to success you ever need to know.
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Much Love, Swati Chauhan