Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Success is not the Key to Happiness


“Becoming successful in life!!!  What’s it, dad?” The little girl asks him while gazing at the book he is reading. The caption screams ‘Success’.

“To become a successful means winning in the game of life.” he answers without taking away his eyes from the book. The sea breeze that comes stealthily through the window blinds refresh the father and daughter duo.

“How to get success in life,” the girl persists. “Is god out there evaluating our life and giving us the trophy of success?” Her innocent face and tender look betray the question she puts forth. A question that puzzles a young, curious mind for an answer.

“That’s not the way one gets bestowed with success,” the dad answers after putting down the book. He is a bit proud realizing how smart his daughter is. He is silent for a while, organizing his thoughts to give a coherent answer to the girl.

“To become successful in life means earning big money,” he speaks emphatically. “It’s getting educated like your dad; employed in an MNC and earning fat salary pockets. Or starting a business and pocketing big chunks of money. If you thus earn a fortune, you can own a palatial dwelling and live with all comforts of life. Money is yummier than the manna of the heaven.” The dad laughs at his own joke and looks intently at the girl’s face if she is convinced of what he said.

“Wow,” the girl shouts, but looks like she is still brooding over something.

“Aside from money, people try to become popular in the society,” the dad continues with a flourish. “Yes, I mean stars like Rajinikanth Kamal Hassan and Amitabh Bachchan get admired and liked by the fellow humans. Winning in politics too makes a man call himself successful in life. Popularity thus becomes a ladder one can climb to rake in fabulous money.

“Now, I know what you mean by getting success in life, dad.” The girl smiles. “People can do anything they like,” she pauses for a moment and continues. “But their aim should be to get money, as much as possible. And that way they can boast they are successful in life. Isn’t it, dad?”

“Yes, honey,” he responds. He is happy of having convinced his daughter.

The small girl goes into a contemplation, closing her beady eyes. She revels in silence for a while and then speaks:

“Dad, if becoming successful in life depends on the money you earn or the popularity one enjoys, why then the uncle next door committed suicide last week? You told me he was a millionaire swimming in currency notes and a popular business magnet too. So even after earning huge money and popularity, why he felt he was not successful in life. There might be something in life his wealth or popularity could not buy.”

He gets puzzled. His daughter’s question nails him and he has no answer to it. He finds a chink in what he told her about getting success in life. His self-compliment about his power of convincing now gets a beating and leaves him disoriented. He stands frozen, gazing at the girl helplessly.

A bit of introspection on our part will also make us feel like the bewildered dad.
Like the proverbial blind identifying an elephant, we think success lies in our going up in the career graph and thus getting helluva money. Or in overtaking our rivals in a business and getting a fortune.

If flourishing in wealth means success, why the rich aren’t happy in life? As the little girl said why the wealthy find life a square in a circle and commit suicide. If winning in life is getting public glare why the celluloid stars hate life and take to a noose. Politicians, too, who stockpile money on the sly go to temples after temples and meet saints and astrologers just to get to know about their future. They aren’t contented with what they have. They want to go through the sky and grab the moon.

What then is success? And what clicks success in life?

As we know, success is neither being wealthy nor popular. It’s the voice of a happy mind which says happiness is not out there in life but it’s in you. A treasure it may appear elusive, but one can have it if one tries honestly.  Peace and tranquility that brings happiness in one’s heart needn’t be born attributes, you may acquire them by constant practice and training.

Just think for a moment.

Why we slog away at a job and earn bucks… more bucks?

Isn’t it about buying a posh bungalow, leading a comfortable life and thus getting a happy mindset?

Like rivers turning their course towards the ocean at the end of their journey, we, too, to get a contented and happy mind, try to give ourselves all the comforts of life. But our minds deny being cheerful no matter how much money we squeeze out of our job/business or the popularity we assiduously build.

When all said and done, we aren’t blessed with contended minds or minds that stay soaked in happiness forever. One may get such mindsets when one does things with fulfilled sense and competently. Or when one avoids doing them by halves. Success is simple: it’s doing right things in a right way at the right time.

Yeah, that is called success doing things with perfection and thus evolving a joyous and happy mind from it.

Inputs source: Tamil Kumudam Snehidhi
Images credit: Google