The approach of the Essay should be to indicate that our urge to achieve success must be supported by good values. These values help us to achieve our goals and also help us in cherishing our success with respect and love.
• Lack of values brings only ephemeral or transitory success and even after getting such success we do not get respect and love.
What does Success Means?
• Success is a vague term and not easy to define; it has different meanings and connotations for different kind of people as they seek different meanings from their lives.
• A person may interpret success as achievements of individual, social, and spiritual goals achieved through fair means. For another person success may mean achieving wealth and power at any cost even by treachery and deception or other types of unfair means or achieving a design that impedes, defeats and, destroys others in their positive endeavours.
• Success has, therefore, different meanings, which depends on the values and character of the person in question.
• There are qualitatively two different approaches in life— living with values and living arbitrarily just for the satisfaction of animal instincts. True we are driven in our lives by animal spirits and realizing individual selfish goals that give as success and happiness. But success and happiness must have a moral purpose behind them for giving us a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
• Success without values is a burden that leads to emptiness and hollowness rather than happiness.
Outcomes of being successful person
• The society respects you or even fears you if you succeed, it ignores you or even hates you if you fail. It is said that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.
• Success, however, is ephemeral and it is known for putting new people in the throne, while dethroning the older ones.
Approach of attaining success
• Success could be achieved by hook or crook, by cunningness and cleverness, by good fortunes or windfalls; it neither lasts nor gives fulfillment in such a case.
• When success is devoid of character and values, it is based on bullying, use of unfair means, hurting and brutalizing others, indulging in deception, violence and untruth.
• Nevertheless, success can also be achieved by fair means, hard work, dedication and
determination. In the first instance it does not give satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment, on the other hand it neither lasts nor is respected. Such a success creates enemies. If success comes through character and values it gives satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment and it lasts. Howsoever big or small such success is, it is loved and respected.
• Thus, it is two sets of values and approaches that lead to success, we may call them ‘white box approach’ and ‘black box approach’.
a) The white box approach is based on good values such as hard work, sincerity, firm
determination, care, love, and cooperation. The white box approach stands for traditional values like honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. Apart from eternal values or traditional values (classical values), there are values of modern society, which have evolved through experiment, experience and free discussions. New Age values are conscious evolution, a non-sectarian society, non-military culture, global sharing, healing the environment, sustainable economies, self-determination, social justice, economic empowerment of the poor, love, compassion in action, going beyond religious fundamentalism, going beyond nationalism-extreme nationalism, culture.
b) Black box approach on negative values such as extreme selfishness, cunningness, maneuver, deception and indifference or blindness to others plight. The contrary of the above comprises dark box approach.
Importance of values
• Values are very important in our journey to success.
• Values help us to make all sacrifices and enable us turn everything to achieve our mission and goals.
• Values help us to endure failures and other adversities.
• Values impart us courage and hope to cross all impediments in our way.
• Values help us to be noble and dignified in both success and failures.
• Values help us to respect other dreams and struggles, to love and care and to keep our senses even if we become extremely wealthy or powerful.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. Will-power springs from the purpose behind our actions. Frail Mahatma Gandhi shook the British Empire, Nelson Mandela sustained three decades in jail to fight against racialism, Aung San-Su-Kyi is bravely facing excesses of the military dominated Junta to bring democracy in Myanmar. Such indefatigable will-power or spirit springs from great values and purpose these people stand for.
Benefits of Values and Success
• People may have many distractions and disappointments in our journey to success.
• They fail to focus on goals if they are not driven by values, as it is a key to success, but without values it is not possible.
The example of Varghese Kurian is relevant in this respect as he could have opted for a great corporate career, but he preferred to opt for a cooperative movement to increase production and distribution of milk in India, eventually leading to ‘operation flood’, making India number one producer of milk. The reason for his choice of developing Amul, a milk cooperative movement, was an article he read while he was
in Britain for studies saying ‘milk supplied in the Indian market is far worse than dirty water flowing in the drains of London.’ He was stirred so much so that he decided to do something meaningful for the development of this sector.
• Lack of values make us shaky, irresponsible, escapist, unscrupulous, greedy and headstrong, etc.
Bill Gates is right when he says, ‘Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.’
The dictators succeed, but behind their black box approach to success they leave behind a bloody trail of human rights violation whether it was Hitler, Saddam Hussain, or Gaddafi. They had wealth and power and their success was accepted for a while, but eventually they were crushed under the burden
of their own sins.
The sub- prime crisis in 2007 and euro zone crisis in 2010 were not because of failures of capitalism, but they were human failings due to lust for excessive or irrational profit just in the manner that it was not the socialist system that led to the fall of the erstwhile Soviet Union, but the profligacy and
irresponsibility of the leaders who became unaccountable for their acts as well as who treated themselves as more equal than other equals.
So Albert Einstein is right when he says, ‘Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.’ We should not aim for success just because we want it; we should instead just do what we love and believe in, and it will come naturally. In fact there is no contradiction in collective success and there is no need for cut throat competition.