Success is... (5)


Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
Confucius

As I conclude on this series (not because we have unearthed all that success is, but because I think you all are tired of hearing ‘success is’), I will end by expounding on what I consider the most important point of all. It is what makes success what it is, and without it nothing, no matter how fancy it’s dressed up, can qualify as success. I believe this understanding will liberate many a folk not just to become successful, but also to become fulfilled.
Have you ever been in that place where in the middle of a hot busy afternoon you ask yourself “why am I even killing myself?” You have been working all day, have not gotten the opportunity to have breakfast or lunch, there is yet so much to do, and you just feel like you would snap. Truth is that most of us have asked that question, but simply returned to work without an answer.

A certain philosopher king about 977 BC asked a very pertinent question “what does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” Everyone will ask this question in one way or another at some point in life. John Locke in the Declaration of Independence said “the necessity of the pursuit of happiness is the foundation of liberty”. He claims that we have an inherent requirement to pursue our happiness, and that is where we are truly free. I agree with him. Nevertheless, we need to understand the degree and context of which I speak. (See my post on The Anticlimax of Pleasure)  

“…as therefore the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness”
John Locke.

  •  Success is the birthing of the internal!

I am an ardent believer that everyone has ability, talent or gift that is inherent in them, qualities, God given and society enforced that over time each of us would either develop or ignore. When we were kids we read comics of super heroes with special abilities that went about saving the world from ever impending doom (if not as a kid, then I’m sure you have at least seen the movie X-men or Wolverine). These fictional characters formed our first hero complex, a desire  and ability to save the world, (that is until reality knocked such foolishness from the smart ones among us. The dreamers like myself still believe we can save the world). Just the same way those super heroes had abilities they developed and used to get results, everyone has some ability which when developed will enable us get results in life. It could be the ability to make others laugh, dismantle electrical gadgets and put it back together (I could always do the first part, but the second part eludes me), understand, the human anatomy, make people buy what they don’t need and be happy they did… Everyone has something they are naturally good at. It may require a lot of work to become outstanding, but it’s a natural bent.

If the axe is dull, and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

Success occurs only when you have result for the deployment of your natural ability. I need to draw a clear distinction here so we understand. Success and fulfilment is the joy you feel when you exercise your natural ability and it gives you some result. When a doctor performs a ten hour surgery and the patient is well, a car mechanic gets an old beat down engine running again, an architect turns a blueprint into a mansion, and a stand- up comedian has his audience rolling on the floor, success has occurred. Success is the working out of the internal through effort and time, and seeing the result of your effort. Success can be likened to the joy a couple feel when after five hours of horrible labour pains, the doctor hands them a screaming and gurgling bundle and they coo “she’s beautiful”. Success is not success except it’s the working out of an internal, that is why a gift cannot be qualified as success. Yes it will make you very happy, but there is a different feeling when you are given the gift of a thousand dollars and when you are paid a thousand dollars for your painting. Something you have not earned cannot make you feel successful. I believe there is a hormone or psychological release that cannot be gotten except by the honorable engagement of your efforts in deploying your talents in some form of work. 

Your success therefore lies not necessarily in acquisitions but in the efforts that produce results. It can come in form of acquisitions and financial compensations, trophies of many kinds, but success is the satisfying feeling that you added to the revolving earth by something you did.

It is definitely not all encompassing, neither is it conclusive but now we have a better picture of what success means. So the next time you are almost intimidated by the siren blowing politician with ten policemen guarding his person, know that the entire paraphernalia does not mean he is more successful than you are. Success is an ever growing, ever unfolding, ever developing discovery of who you are. It is relative to you, you must plan for it, it involves every area of your life, it occurs in stages and is possible at every phase of your life, it has a price you must pay, and it is more about the working out of your internal abilities than it is of acquiring external trophies.     

My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward of all my labor.
Ecclesiastes 2:10 


"First Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a writer, entrepreneur, blogger, public speaker and an all-round knowledge junkie who likes to view life from different angles.

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