We all look up to those coveted individual success stories in the world of sports, entertainment, politics and corporate world.
The media loves showcasing stories about growing from rags to riches, overcoming major obstacles/failures and sheer pure talent stories. What is Success?
In layman’s terms, success is associated with fame, power, money and status.
Here are some of noteworthy quotes pertaining to Success
Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
Pele, Soccer Player
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
The popular belief is if you work hard, harness your talent, persevere, have passion and learn from your failures, success will come knocking at your door.
Is this true? There are many individuals who may do all of above and not achieve the layman definition of success because of lack of the right opportunity.
In his well-researched book, Success and Luck- Good Fortune and Myth of Meritocracy, economist Robert Frank argues that people attribute their success due their talent and hard work.
They fail to acknowledge the opportunity aka luck- the external circumstances, chance events and the people that help shaped that success.
As Napolean Bonparte once said,
“Ability is of little account without opportunity.”
This luck or opportunity can be construed as God’s grace or the eastern philosophy of one’s own past karma though one consciously does not have full control of it.
To sum up, we are so tied up to the materialistic or extrinsic layman’s view of Success that we forget the intrinsic viewpoint of success that it is realization of one’s own goals.
John Wooden, UCLA Hall of Fame Basketball beautifully puts it
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”