By Vikas Malkani March 2000 Material success is but a fraction of true success. Besides, success is never for its own sake. People want it for happiness and contentment. Therefore, success has to last; it cannot be episodic. Here is a study of the ABCDE of success: 25 QUALITIES OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE1. Strong self-belief 2. Believe in action and prayer. 3. Don’t major in minor things. 4. First discipline themselves thereafter they try it on others. 5. Understand the value of enthusiasm. 6. Avid readers. 7. Copious note takers. 8. Adaptable and Improvise. 9. Skilled in time management. Set priorities. 10. Good listeners and orators. 11. Good communicators and planners. 12. Make mistake but learn from them. 13. Not afraid of taking calculated risks. 14. Identify and use their moods. 15. Optimistic. Carry a sense of gratitude. 16. Persistent and persevering. 17. Step out of their comfort zones. 18. Act according to reality. 19. Enjoy their work/effort. 20. Visionaries with patience. 21. Focused. 22. Quick decision makers. 23. Effectively handle criticism/rejection/frustration 24. Take responsibility for their actions and lives. 25. Are self-aware. (Carry internal-anchor) • Awareness• Belief• Choice• Detachment• Enjoyment AWARENESS Awareness is knowledge or gyan, that you and the universe are one. Whatever you wish is also the wish of the universe. You have got to believe it, only then it will come true. Once you follow up this awareness with the correct steps the universe will conspire to help you create your reality. God sends dream. But it is your responsibility to make these dreams see the light of day. Dream big. Make sure that your vision is large. Here is a real life example: A and B both go to the ocean. One goes with an empty glass, the other with a bucket. It is obvious who will get what. BELIEF Belief relates to attitude. Henry Ford once said: ‘If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you are right.’ It’s all up to you. Let me narrate a story. A boy wanted to have fun at the expense of a revered swami. So he made a foolproof plan. ‘I will go to the swami carrying a bird in my hand. I will then ask him: ‘Since saints are supposed to be omniscient can you tell me whether the bird in my hand is dead or alive?’ If he replies, alive, I’ll break the bird’s neck. If he says, dead, he will be wrong anyhow.’ He went according to his plan. However, the swami pre-empted the boy, and replied: ‘The bird is as you wish it to be.’ Similarly your life will be as you wish it to be. CHOICE Choice relates to action. You can never win, if you don’t begin. There is a story of a lazy man who wanted riches without toiling for it. He prayed to God: ‘Please help me win a lottery.’ God appeared and granted him his desire. The man waited patiently, but nothing materialized. He invoked God again. ‘ You didn’t keep your promise.’ God replied: ‘My son, you had to at least take the trouble of buying a lottery ticket, only then could I make sure that you won the bumper prize’. You have to do your bit. Thereafter expect God to do His. People say success is the result of good judgment. I say success is the result of bad judgment. You have to act on the basis of certain decisions—good or bad. At times bad judgments will lead you to good judgments and eventually bring success. In Bhagwad Gita (The Divine Song), which is a Hindu discourse on human life and philosophy, Krishna (the personification of God) tells Arjuna (a prince in exile), that both good and bad decisions are right, but indecision will kill. Indeed, in history, indecision and inaction have seen the death of many a great dreams. To succeed you must get out of your comfort zones. The familiar home, relationships, job and habits are always comfortable. But at the end, they stultify you. Here I have a bone to pick with the conventional wisdom: A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. You should not remain content with the small if you want to achieve grand success. DETACHMENT Surrender. Expect nothing. Act without attachment to the fruits of success, which is up to God. The West says: Let go, let God. You may pray. There is power in prayer and faith. Once a boy tried to move a boulder in his backyard. But in spite of repeated efforts, he could not move the boulder. Noticing the dejected son, his father asked whether he had tried everything to move the boulder. The son replied: ‘Yes’. His father said: ‘No, you haven’t. You never asked me to help you.’ Imagine! You can seek God’s help. He is our creator. Then why feel shy for His help? Make Him a partner in all your endeavors. God and you can make an invincible team. In Mahabharata (A Hindu Epic), both Duryodhan and Arjuna vie for Krishna to make him their ally. However, Krishna gives them a choice: one side may have his army, and the other side may have him. While Duryodhan opts for the army, Arjuna goes for Krishna. In the greatest war that follows, Arjuna wins hands down. ENJOYMENT Bliss or contentment must come. The usual pattern is that we act, then expect results and then complain if results fall short of our expectations. Even if you succeeded, the thrill of achieving it doesn’t last. So the western motivational speakers advise people at this stage to start working on another project. In this model struggle is ceaseless. What I teach is lasting success. As Sri Aurobindo said: ‘All life is yoga.’ I believe that all life should be success.
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