It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. In a world where everything is fast-paced and on a constant increase, the measure of growth nowadays is almost solely measured by how much profit/ return/ wealth we are getting form any given endeavor. To the common Man, any endeavor that doesn’t translate directly into money or profits isn’t very successful.
So usually the question is asked time and time again; what is success? Is it the amount of money we have or make? Is it measured in the number of cars we own, or the private jets we fly in? Before I proceed to give a brilliant answer which we can deduct from a very ancient text called the Ramayana, allow me to clear some misconceptions. Money is not bad, in fact, a lack of it could be bad. The ability to have adequate resources to meet one’s daily requirement and also take care of family is a necessary need for everyone. This blog is not about demonizing money or making those who are rich feel uncomfortable, not at all. However, this blog is an attempt to clarify the common misconception that money is directly equal to success.
So, the story goes in the Ancient text of Valmiki, called the Ramayana, that after the demon Ravana was killed by Lord Rama; who is an avatar of Vishnu, the distressed wife of Ravana was in so much pain and anguish and she wanted to see the “human being” who had killed her husband. For those of you who are not quite familiar with the Ramayana, I’ll give a brief recap. Ravana, a great demon, and King kidnap the wife of a King (Rama) who is in exile from his kingdom, due to bad politics from a stepmother. His wife and brother accompany him and during their stay in the forest, Ravana kidnaps Rama’s wife. Rama seeks help from an army of half-human half-monkey soldiers and they attack the capital city of Ravana in Sri Lanka. They build a floating bridge of stones (which is still there to this day, and I have personally seen these stones float on water), to cross over to Lanka. There is a huge battle in which Ravana is killed and Rama’s wife; Sita is rescued.
After Ravana had been killed, Rama was sitting on a stone and the setting sun had cast a shadow of him on the floor. The wife of the late Ravana came running into the battlefield with the intention to insult the “Man” who had killed her mighty husband. As she was approaching, her shadow cast in front of her also approached Rama’s shadow. Without lifting his head up, Rama could see that the Shadow approaching was that of a Lady and so he moved aside so that his shadow wouldn’t “touch” hers. Seeing this act, she stopped in her tracks and thought; here is a Man who wouldn’t even let his shadow touch mine, and my husband had kidnapped his wife and held her in captivity for a long period. If he respects the possession of others to this extent that he won’t even want his shadow on someone else’s possession. At that point, she stopped and the initial rage she had which she had wanted to vent out in insults, subsided and turned into admiration.
Considering the time of this epic, there was a lot more culture among people and it may come off as strange to someone in the 21st century how avoiding shadows is a sign of respect? I get this and I’ll try to explain further. The underlining principle is how one balances one’s values with respect to wealth or money. It is mentioned in the same text that, a third-class person will sacrifice his values, integrity, and morals just to get money. A second-class person will sacrifice some of his values in order to get some type of wealth or reward, while a first-class person will never sacrifice his values for wealth. Thus, true success is how much of our values we can retain and uphold why trying to attain some level of material wealth etc. If after having achieved so much wealth, we are bereft of any values, then it is safe to say we have become morally bankrupt at the expense of material wealth.
Another interesting factor to consider is that money or wealth is based on numbers and numbers have no limit. So, if someone is trying to achieve happiness off a factor that is limitless in acquiring it, then we can somehow or the other see the attempt is futile. There will always be another figure we want to achieve in order to be happy. We have $1,000, then we strive for $10,000, when we get it, then we strive for $100,000, then we strive for $1,000,000. The race never ends. The proof is that hardly do we see any Millionaire or Billionaire who comes out and says; “Ok, Now I have made enough money, I want to stop and allow others to make some for themselves using my resources”. So, the question remains; What is success?
I can only offer a direction and allow you all run with the ball. Success is a state of an all-around sense of purpose and satisfaction gotten from living a life that gives us equilibrium in our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and material endeavors. This equilibrium comes about as a matter of a constant and conscious set of actions and choice, as opposed to a wishful thinking or happy go lucky attitude. That being said, success is not a destination but a journey. We should try to be successful at every point or stage in our lives as compared to waiting for a big break or grand finale of “success”. Having this idea of success at the back of our minds will help us see that material wealth is but one aspect of the equation of success. So just like a regular equation, if one component is balanced as opposed to the entire equation, the end result is still unbalanced.
I hope this meets you well and looking forward to sharing more blogs with you. Do read, share, and follow for more.