A successful person inevitably posesses a few unmistakable traits and habits, which turn her into a contented, prosperous and deeply satisfied person, says Shivi Verma
When I was younger, success was counted as material. Something which you get if you pass out with flying colours, get admission in top colleges and institutes, rise phenomenally in your career, and make loads of money. People strove to become a doctor, engineer, lawyer, CA or any other prestigious professional. Those who couldn't, had to contend with a mediocre status and lifestyle. As I began my pursuit of success, I realised I did not have the innate desire or even the ability to pursue these things. No matter how hard I tried, they dropped away like dried leaves from a tree. I eventually did what came naturally to me, writing. I also realised that it made me happy, and that the sole pursuit of money or status gave me stress. The study of spirituality also made me aware that my purpose was to do what I was meant to do without focussing on a favourable outcome. This idea liberated me. I began focussing on things that made me happy, without bothering about material returns. If they happened as a byproduct, I was happy to receive them. With this awareness came a recognition of what I really wanted. I wanted fulfilment, satisfaction, peace and contentment. I needed knowledge of myself. And though the soul was all these things personified, it had incarnated to experience these things through physical work and achievements. And while it is perfectly all right to pursue fame, money or glamour, it is advisable to do a self-check to find if it is coming from a deep inner urge, or simply because you are mesmerised by all the glamour and glitz. Says Pradeep Pawar, motivational speaker and life coach from Kolhapur, “The dizzying heights of success do not ensure lasting happiness or satisfaction, which is the sole purpose of wanting success. The world is full of sad examples. People like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston achieved phenomenal material success but died painful, unfulfilled deaths. And many others crawled back into the shadows of obscurity, neglect and poverty. Because success is a state of mind, and is about our overall understanding of life.” Louise L. Hay was a top fashion model who married a wealthy business tycoon, but none of it could help her get what she actually wanted, which was self-acceptance, security, peace and happiness. However, she got them all when she began the quest to find her real self through spirituality. Her subsequent success went beyond even her earlier success and made her a force to reckon with all over the world. Success gives you lasting joy only if it is complemented by balance, rootedness and humility. You can best enjoy it when you are not too attached to it and know deeply that, like the highs, lows too are a part of life with their own value. As human beings we need success to find ourselves. We yearn for completion of our inner voids. We want success in everything we touch, or come across. We want to expand and find ourselves through what all we can achieve and accomplish. We want to give expression to what we have within ourselves, in terms of mind, body, emotions and ability. And what enormous joy to know that we are capable of so much when we stretch ourselves. Success is the outcome of a person taking full responsibility for the realisation of his dreams. Such a person will pay attention to each and every aspect of his mind and psyche. In short, success is about expressing our divine self in its fullest form. A successful person possesses the following attributes.
A life of no regrets
“If I have to die at this moment I would willingly and happily pass away,” says Dr Pradeep Pawar, popular motivational coach and author. “ I have achieved all that I wanted, enjoy satisfying relationships, have no financial worries, and am returning back to society what I got from it. I am a happy man,” he adds. A successful person has no nagging regrets. He has achieved his highest potential, whatever it may be. When he is on his deathbed he has no regret about having done something that he didn’t want to, or not having done what he wanted to. He passes away satisfied and contented. Such a state can be achieved when you are deeply in tune with yourself. This reveals to you your life purpose and also gives you the confidence to passionately pursue things which are vital for your self expression. Such a person derives his satisfaction from giving his 100 per cent to a task, instead of fretting over the desired final outcome. And there lies his victory and freedom. More often than not the end result is positive, but even if it is not, he learns his lessons from the experience, thanks the person or the situation, and moves on to the next goal post as indicated by his intuition. He feels content that he gave his best to a challenge or a task.
She knows that all-round success is the key to happiness and it can be achieved only if you lead an aware life. In other words, a life where you take full responsibility for what you want, and what you need to do to bring it about. Says Jack Canfield, success coach from the USA in his book, The Success Principles, “The first step is taking 100 per cent responsibility for your life. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind, but you can change yourself. There is only one person responsible for the quality of life you live _ that person is you.” She will outline her deepest desires with great respect and take responsibility for their fruition. Such people wish to express their highest potential and reach the best version of themselves. They know the greatest secret of the Universe. That what they deeply want is not in dissonance with the wishes of others. They know that those opposing their path, are the ones who stopped their own growth because of the fear of rejection, ridicule, or failure, and that their own success would help others find themselves. Therefore opposition and hostility from family or society does not deter them. Something which the stellar success of the Phogat sisters as shown in the film, Dangal, proves. When their father decided to coach them to become wrestlers, the villagers laughed and mocked. But when the same girls began winning tournaments and getting medals from home and abroad, they won the admiration and adulation of their opponents and they even began following suit.
Holistic view of life
A successful person is passionate as well as balanced. Says Deepak Chopra, spiritual guru and author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “Success can be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realisation of worthy goals. Success is a journey, not a destination. Material abundance in all its expression makes the journey enjoyable but success includes good health, energy, enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom and a sense of well-being.” When it comes to accomplishing what she wants she will pull out all the stops to express her highest potential. Yet she will not obsess over anything. She knows that focussing only on one aspect at the cost of ignoring others might cost her dearly. Her health and relationships might suffer, leaving her with a nagging sense of remorse or guilt. She will also not be too deeply attached to the outcome. She will view her highest visions too with a sense of playfulness. With such a mindset it becomes easy for her to accept changes, lows and the need to make room for me-time, hobbies, self-growth and relationships. She will allow for breaks, slowdowns and be aware of the inherent potentiality existing within them. For her everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. Says Bhaavin Shah, a Mumbai-based motivational speaker, “A success that comes at the cost of too much of anything is not success in the first place. If you can be successful and yet be free, have enough time on your hands, you are successful.”
A successful person values life for the opportunity it is. He knows the merit of valuing everything he has. He is alive every moment. Nothing passes by without his appreciation. This includes food, nature, time, money, people, (including servants, friends, parents, spouse, colleagues, boss, children, his adversaries) and also himself. And the more he values, the more he attracts the best of everything, and keeps growing as a person. He is also in touch with the laws of life and abides by them. Therefore, he is rooted in the values of honesty, sincerity, kindness, commitment, integrity, fairplay, justice, sharing and giving. It makes his life easier and prevents him from falling for temptations and short cuts. He knows the difference between short- and long-term successes and works actively to secure long-term success based on good values, instead of achieving quick success which might get him stupendous results in the beginning but backfire later. Whatever such people build or achieve has lasting value in it. They might get what they want a little later than others but nevertheless when they arrive, they arrive with a bang. Mohit Goel, the founder of Ringing Bells company who made millions of bucks announcing the scheme of making smart phones for Rs 251, was recently arrested for forgery because he could not prove the efficacy of his claim. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, captured one milestone after another because he was rooted in sound principles.
A successful person has a clear goal or purpose in his life. And the more he is focussed or dedicated to it, the clearer his life path becomes. He is not distracted by addiction to sex, flings, parties, narcotics, or by a sense of victimhood and dysfunctional relationships which are major time- and energy- killers. Not only does it get him closer to the goal it also helps him stay away from self-sabotaging habits and beliefs. Such people focus on what they want to do instead of what they wish to become. And there are greater successes in the world of people who focussed on doing, and who poured their soul and heart in giving birth to the idea inherent in them. Their driving force was the urge to give birth, nurture and see the flourishing of their idea, and subsequently, themselves.
A positive outlook
Successful people view life in totality and know how to extract its juice to the fullest. She knows that in life you may not have it all, but that is no reason to stop yourself from being happy, appreciative and grateful. Such people create opportunities where none exist and make the best out of what they have, whether disabled, orphaned, poorly educated, or married off too early. Instead of ruing what is not, they value what they have. Sri Kant Bolla, the 23-year- old owner of the 50-crore Bollant industries, was born to a poor farmer and was blind since birth. But all these adversities only strengthened his resolve and he defeated all odds to pursue higher education and start his own venture. He valued the opportunity given to him by his father to study, and the unconditional love and support of his grandmother, and built on these two strengths to survive and thrive.
In touch with the inner self
A successful person is deeply in touch with her inner self, because the inner self is the GPS of all the success you can achieve in this life. They listen to it intently and act upon it, guided by its instruction. For example, let us say you want to write a book. This would mean leaving your comfort zone and devoting time and energy to this task. Such a person’s path is cleared by the Cosmos by throwing in his way favourable people, circumstances and opportunities. He keeps taking his cues from the Universe and goes on working and expanding on them, eventually reaching the pinnacle of success. The manuscript of Amish Trivedi of the Shiva Trilogy series was rejected by 20 publishers, but he did not change it because he could not have written anything else. Eventually, his wife Preeti took over the task of marketing his book, brought in fresh ideas, and the book became a phenomenal success. Said the late Dr APJ Kalam, “Dreams are not that which you get while sleeping. Dreams are those which do not let you sleep.”
A way of life
For such a person success is a way of life. And this includes appreciating herself and others for small successes too. She creates small milestones which go on to becoming bigger milestones. She may congratulate herself for maintaining her health, learning swimming or driving, for being punctual, for her organising skills, for having good relationships, for being a good money saver. She may also have yearly or five-yearly goals, which she consistently works on. Even if setbacks occur, which are very likely, she does not let it affect her determination and overcomes it sooner or later. Such people are ever ready to learn new things. Perseverance is their hallmark. Says Ralph Marston, popular author of the website, The Daily Motivator, “Success is not merely something you get. It is about the way you choose to live. Dream without limits and act on those dreams. Live without excuses or apologies and with a persistent, driving desire to make a difference."
Is down to earth
Finally, all the success is of no use if it hasn’t made you a better person. If you haven’t learnt to treat others with kindness and respect, if your success hasn’t filled you with gratitude, humility and compassion, if you cannot see the role of the Universe in getting you what you wanted, all the success you have earned will come to naught. Many successful people completely neglected their spiritual and emotional evolution which cost them dearly later on. They lost their reputation, relationships, wealth, status and credibility, or caused huge damage to people, society and the environment. The pursuit of success is not the master key to everlasting happiness. After a time the charm of worldly success begins to wear off when you see that you are still lonely, tense, angry, insecure and distrustful of people. Many highly successful people will tell you that success hasn’t changed things much for them. It’s only when you go on the journey of self-discovery that you find the joy which completes you, fulfils you to the brim, and puts a permanent smile on your face. And this success is the pinnacle of all successes. It spills over and spreads amazing goodness, goodwill and inspiration.
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