Satori of Success
"Satori" is a Zen Buddhist term for "understanding"
"Can success be attached to the failures I have faced earlier?"
One of my coachee happened to ask in all earnest as he sought to navigate the minefield of misfires, failures & success.
"Success does not consist in never making mistakes - but in never making the same one a second time." George Bernard Shaw. The poet beautifully captures the point of 'learning' from events in life/career and then utilising the same to make the next move on the path. But before getting to that path, do you know what success is for you?
Let's explore Success first…
Success is a never-ending destination of attaining one’s personal / professional dreams. For some, it is enjoying happiness with the family, while for some it is about reaching out to a professional goalpost. The concept of success is continuously changing through the lifecyle – during childhood it meant getting that toy which I liked at my friend’s place or get appointed as the school prefect; in teenage days, it was about getting that new bike and topping the graduation year; then at the young adult stage, it was getting the dream job.
I did feel that successful people must be doing things differently while I continued seeking that ‘different’! Failure affords you the chance at learning upon a genuine enquiry while success transforms you to get motivated further and these two are well connected to each other. Dreams, destinations and the successive goals may vary but the Satori – the understanding of success factors remain universal, as I list some of these.
Running after a thousand things to do is distracting - whereas settling down calmly and appreciating what you have now leads to a spirit of thankfulness. Believe me, this brings about a profound change into your field of being. Accepting that whatever you have is also the worth of millions and you start taking every mistake as a stepping stone to your success goal.
Kabir the mystic poet said “I go about my business as everything is His” – without any anxiety and always in a state of thankfulness for whatever was available. An attitude of counting your blessings in a state of spirituality is not in contrast – rather it is conjoined with your business/career and allows you to make your next well contemplated move.
In this context includes the typical understanding of being a moral person of virtues but extends further to the perceived construct of the individual. Integrity here means the individuals state of being whole – from within to without. Such a person stands for his/her principles, does what he/she says and does the right thing even when no one around him/her is looking. The word of such a person is complete without any hidden meanings and shows whole-hearted commitment. This trait is highly valued in both personal and professional relationships as people around you, will want to trust you with higher responsibilities and respect you for doing the right thing.
Know what you Want
A few years ago, I was fortunate to be inducted in the spiritual way – as I sought answers to life’s pressing issues. My spiritual guide asked me “What are you seeking”? Although the question seemed simple enough one’s own perceptive constraints do not allow us to understand what is it that we truly seek.
Here's an example of the exchange that stayed with me:
I happened to be alongside this person suffering from arthritic pain in the joints and when the same question was asked of her, a typical response came about “This pain has been with me for long and life is miserable. I’d like to rid myself of this pain".
The guide asked her to write down what she just said – as he gently helped her navigate what she truly sought! Afterwards the guide asked her to write the absolute opposite on the other side of the page. This sentence now emerged as "My joints are healthy and strong, same like 4 years ago, and life is good"
The guide now smiled "Is this truly what you are seeking?” and the person was all 'Yes'!
Without going further into what happened – this insightful instance sent a surge of Satori through me and helped me define – what is it I actually seek!
Knowing what you want enables the possibility of what you can be and go beyond what you already are.
Ambition and Goals
Ambition comes from knowing what you want and is an investment of your whole being into applying yourself to your stretch goal. Ambition and goals are two sides of the coin and feed into the other.
"No man will find the best way to do a thing unless he loves to do that thing." Japanese proverb
This pair defines the person as he/she sets about to make efforts for achievement. In the process, the spirit of ambition furthers shapes you (your character, discipline, behavioural change) from what you are and this is a bigger achievement that what you might end up getting.
During a recent speaking engagement, I was asked by a teenager “I haven’t figured out my future goals yet, while some of my friends already have. Is this ok?”
Each person is unique. For every ambitious person exerting oneself towards the goal, there are many who are contented to accept life in its flow. For everyone who burns the midnight oil, there's someone taking it easy. It is a choice which one makes and then the choice make this person.
For those who aspire to success – they seek out others who are role models and yet others engage Coaches to help them apply the knowledge into the desired behavioural change for success.
“You can either waste a lot of time, money and effort working it out for yourself, or you can invest in a business coach.” Richard Branson, Virgin