This is a difficult topic to write. Terms like success, contentment and happiness are hard to define and are somewhat personal. Two people might take very different routes to happiness and both could be right from their perspective.
It may sound odd but achieving happiness requires some learning. There are statistics that indicate that billionaires have one of the highest rates of suicide. I have not looked into details, but something tells me that these people perhaps did not ‘learn’ how to be happy.
In my opinion success goes hand in hand with happiness and contentment.
One can argue, and many scriptures will support that, that success has nothing to do with happiness. Happiness is a state of mind and can be approached spiritually by practicing meditation, detachment and so on.
While these concepts have their value, I however tend to differ, especially in the context of younger generation. Think about it – do you want your kids to practice being happy while having no regard to education or future job? Your answer is probably no. On the other hand, working towards success in future, while not over stressing is probably something most of us would aim for.
This article is about the very basic, smallest set of qualities that a person would need to be on road to ‘maximizing’ success and contentment. I wanted to keep the list real short and came down to just three.
I agree one would need lot more. But my contention is that the three qualities below are the starting point. Once the person has these, he/she would know where to go from there. Identifying and building new skills will be essential part of that journey.
I call these “3 pillars of Success and Contentment.”
1. Pillar of Self Awareness.
We all seek happiness and contentment in life. This search starts with self discovery. Without knowing who we truly are, we are unlikely to find what will give us lasting and maximum happiness. It is often said that we are all born with unique talents. What is not recognized or mentioned is that at deepest level, we are also unique in what we need for fulfillment.
Self discovery goes way beyond finding interests, strengths and weaknesses. It is a life long journey and a spiritual approach to life goes a long way in this quest. See – Nirvana Shatkam – after thoughts.
2. Pillar of Futuristic Vision
Next we need to understand the world we are living in and the world we are likely to find in future. It is a rapidly changing dynamic world. The technological advancements are changing the landscape in all areas of life. In future we can expect to see vast improvements in health, life expectancy, availability of resources and multitude of choices in all areas of life – we are already seeing glimpses of this phenomenon for last decade or more.
This upward march, however, is likely to be a bumpy ride, leading to ups and downs of increasing severity. A down turn, while short in a big picture, could last a good part of one’s life.
With a long life ahead in this extremely uncertain world, it is paramount that we have as much insight into it as possible. That way we will be ready to capitalize on opportunities as they are presented and will also be better prepared for adversities. The visionary and futuristic attitude is what is needed here.
3. Pillar of ‘Relaxed’ state of mind.
Lastly, we need to practice living with a relaxed and blissful state of mind. Meditation plays a key role here. Being “relaxed” is a relative term. However relaxed we are, with practice, we can become more relaxed.
This state of mind helps us be more efficient at whatever we are seeking. In this state even our body and subconscious get engaged with the task of making us stronger and healthier. see Health Benefits of Meditation. Whether it is making right decisions, successfully completing the task ahead or handling adversities or just enjoying the moment we are in – relaxed state of mind is the winner.
The mastery of these three pillars, in essence, is a “win win” prospect. While they make us more equipped to identify and go after our dreams, they also make us stronger in handling adversities, thus ensuring happiness and fulfillment, irrespective of the dice that is thrown towards us.
I am passionate about spreading awareness for these “Three Pillars of Success and Contentment” and no wonder the reflections of this theme can be found in bulk of my writing.