Success can be measured from two standpoints – externally and internally. Externally it is the measure of a job well done and the accompanying recognition from society. Internally it is a feeling of achievement, satisfaction, fullness, completeness, wholeness which comes on the completion of a task or the fulfillment of a desire. What is a true measure of success, the outer accolades or the inner joy and peace which is experienced when we know we have performed well?
All of us have various goals which are based on our desires and aspirations. When we fulfill a desire or achieve a goal we feel happy and successful. Till another desire arises and we feel incomplete and we begin to strive again. Sometimes it happens that when we reach a goal we begin to feel a void in our lives and do not know what to do next?
Success can also be measured by the feeling of comfort we have with ourselves. This generally happens when we live according to our intrinsic Nature. If we attain what we want and still find something lacking then we know that either our desire was not desirable or the means adopted were not in accordance with nature.
Modern managements feel that if a person is satisfied there will be a lack of motivation, which will work against the interest of the company. This is a negative way of looking at the issue of satisfaction. When a person is positively satisfied, he/she wants to share the feelings of joy and contentment with others, wants to work for the welfare and well-being of others. His/her motivational levels are higher and the opposite happens-he/she wants to do even more and work more efficiently. This is the state of mind of a Mahatma. Swami Chinmayananda, the founder of Chinmaya Mission went all over the world, reaching out to people not because he desired anything. He did it out of a joy of sharing what he had, so that others may benefit as well and share in his knowledge, good fortune and success. It was an expression of the joy he felt within. True success is that which gives joy to me and to others.
Success should include or embrace all aspects of my life- holistic success. Some professionals may be greatly praised at work but be utter failures in the family. Some may be good for the family but for society they may be no good. We must be whole individuals, just as God intended us to be. Take the case of a mango seed that grew to be a plant and then a tree that gave the world sweet fruit. What did the seed do? It did nothing but remain true to its nature and in that it found fulfillment and completeness. So we have to remain true to our Supreme Nature for in that lies our greatest success.
We must learn how to share success from the life of Shri Ramchandraji. After returning from Lanka he was asked how he won the battle and he gave credit to all those who had helped him, making even the ordinary monkeys great. Real success lies in making others happy and giving credit to the whole team. These are the distinguishing marks of a great or true leader. He carries the team with him. When Hanumanji returned from Lanka after locating Sitaji, he did not go directly to Sri Rama and give him the news. He collected all the other monkeys and included them in the successful completion of their mission, so that each one of them felt they were equally involved in finding Sitaji.
Why do people want success? Success is associated with fame, reaching the top. It is associated with perfection, wholeness, joy and completeness. Success is an expression of our Self which is Supreme and perfect. Therefore we have this thirst for success because we are that supreme alone. We want to be great because we are great. It is a natural desire. Everyone wants to be perfect, wants to win, wants to remain ahead of everyone. If we understand all its connotations this then my success will not be dependent on anyone’s failure or be gained by pulling someone down. Our joy will not depend on the others sorrow.