Posted by: thetavernthoughts | February 11, 2011

The Old definition of success

The Old definition of success       Asking the most the fundamental question

The contemporary youth often describe themselves as Goal oriented and success driven. If anyone asked them what they meant by success, after giving a puzzled look, they would give you answer that would lay bare their hollow claims. They talk constantly about which college they want to join and how that college ensures a job with hefty salary, Are the youth goal oriented or security oriented? What do they mean when they use the word success?

A simple search on the internet will give you the modern perspective on success. Success is defined as being wealth . Success is now synonymous with wealth. This definition, however, is a modern definition, that which came into being in the 1920’s. The etymology of the word success reveals that the original meaning of the word success was “to achieve that which one desires.”

So to be successful in the truest and the oldest sense of the word we would have to first look at what we truly desire. The question we need to ask ourselves is “what do I really want to do in life.” This most fundamental question is always ignored and rarely asked by the modern “success oriented” youngsters.

The youngsters today are can be more aptly described as result oriented than goal oriented. Being goal oriented means to set a goal and pursue it with all your hearts passion, being result oriented means to first looking at how an action will benefit you and then doing it. That is why the new definition of success has more to do with wealth than “what your heart desires.”

So if you asked the result oriented youngsters the most fundamental question, they are dumb folded. They are dumb folded because they never gave this question a thought, because all their lives they have searched for answers without, never within themselves. This new realm confuses and scares them, and they defend themselves by saying “one should be ‘practical’ in life” or something like that. Yet they are the ones who will enter the ‘self help’ genre in a book store. They want to know all about how others have made money so they can emulate them.

If confronted with the most Fundamental question “What do you really want to do in life?” the resulted oriented people become extremely confused and uncomfortable. Why would such a simple question cause so much discomfiture? Because when we ask ourselves this question we for the first time seek for affirmation for our actions from within ourselves and not without. The question thus reveals our dependence on other’s approval, in quest of which we forget to see if we approve of ourselves. This discovery is the reason for discomfiture.

Another reason why People avoid asking this question is because they are afraid of what the answer might be! It can cause lot of discomfort. Since the question is the most fundamental in nature, it has the ability to cause tremendous impact on a person’s life. Once you have received the answered from within yourself, it can never be forgotten. All the wealth in world would seem pointless if you were not doing that which you truly want. So the most comfortable solution is to avoid asking the question in the first place.

The knowledge of What you truly want may also force you to leave your comfort zone and force you to traverse into the unknown, and people always fear the unknown. How many times have heard the Phrase “Work hard for now once you get admission to xyz collage, you are sure to get a Job” So there is guarantee of getting something once you are in college. Following your Self’s desire however gives no guarantees. A job, a good job may not be true definition of success, but it guarantees you something.  Very few enjoy the leap into the unknown. It is easier to follow the multitudes and there is lot of comfort to be in a crowd, but do not hope to stand out then for only the courageous deserve that privilege.

If asking yourself the Question confuses you then you have not been asking it with complete intensity. We have been wired to listen to the senseless noise that the society keeps throwing at us, to start listening something so subtle as your inner most voice would require some practice. To get absolute clarity on what you want at any particular time in your life, ask the question with absolute intensity again and again. Be patient and know that you will get the correct answer from your Self.

To know and pursue that which you really want is to live a life of choice and not necessity. Lot of life’s decisions are taken out of the need for security, especially financially security. Choices made on basis of your own passion may require some risks, but need not necessarily lead to financial ruin as often portrayed by those around. Little bit of rational thought will point to you that a successful writer earns as much as a successful engineer if not more. Even those who do not touch the pinnacle of success do not exactly suffer in poverty. The opportunities in the modern world are abundant; one must know where to look. What stops people from following their passion are that they would have to tread a path that is not comfortable to them. NO one likes leaving the comfort zone. Most of the self help books are for the ordinary, security hunting youth who wants to know formulas used by others to get wealth and then emulate them.

Those courageous few who pursue that which they truly want, do not need guidance of any self help book. They just need to look at the mirror on the wall to inspire them. Those who know and follow what their heart truly desire always wake up in the morning feeling happy and alive instead of ‘burnout’ burdened and bored. The ordinary people often speak about working hard to ‘achieve success’ to the passionate the work never seems hard. There is an old saying in china which says “…wise are the ones to whom work and play are the same”. ‘Play’ is that the action that you take because you want to do it, there is no other obligation to you other than that. Hence when your work is what you truly want to do, you play all your life. So I would like to urge my readers, that before you join the rat race to be called ‘successful’ take moment first and ask yourself honestly, “What do I want to do in life.”






  1. Damn good boy. Keep up.

  2. Very True…

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