The tragedy of success!

A personal experience on why success really not matters in life!

Who doesn’t want success in life? I am sure everyone are affirmative regarding success. Because failure is bad, it hurts, makes us feel sad and depressed. While success on the other side, makes us happy, popular and even powerful. The society praises the successful people. But, success brings with it its own set of tragedies, and we have to pay a price for that.

Let me tell you my school days story. I used to be a topper in my school. I was a A student or grade wise, a straight 4.0 guy. My primary focus in my school days was just study, get good grades, become a topper and again study more. Its almost like I was stuck in a infinite loop where more study made me topper in my class, but then I used to become afraid that I might lose out, and so I used to study even more for the next grade. So, basically, I was stuck, quite badly stuck!

Now, when I look back to my 14 or 15 year old me, I simply cannot stop laughing. Because I really don’t understand what made me so obsessed for topper rank or in other words, fascinated for success. I had tasted my fair share of success, but somehow that taste soon became insatiable. I wanted more and more, and however, more I got, I was not happy. Still the fear to lose out the top rank or even lose the praise from the society or family made me do that.

But now I realise that becoming successful is actually dangerous in life. Because the price to pay for success is much more than the fruits gained out of success! Why do I say so?

Let me elucidate by what I mean by tragedy of success. As I said, I got success quite early in my life. But assuming that was the biggest mistake I ever made. Because I did not learn the joy of hard working. Even though I was hard working, but my attention was always fixated on the outcome, and not on the process of doing. Hence, whenever I achieved the end result, I just moved on to the next goal, without even thinking how much efforts I had really made. Its almost like I had become some sort of machine.

So, when I say I did not know the joy of hard working is because the ones who fail in that age, know how much efforts it takes to become successful. They know how much work is needed to climb the ladder. Those who fail early in life become appreciative about their own efforts. Those who fail and succeed, not only understand what they have gained, but also the means by which they have reached the zenith. And that’s the best part of failing and succeeding. Because at the end, its not the goal that gives the joy, but the journey that takes us towards it. Its like a roller coaster ride, where the ups and downs are what we enjoy, and not the end of the ride, right!

This is the first tragedy of success which makes us forget that it is not the end, but the means that really matters!

I missed that train in that tender age. Because I not only feared failing, but also feared to change the path. Because once I knew the mantra to success, I just kept blindly following it. By that I mean I just started emulating the same way of studying or working to get the final goal. And it worked, because my path gave me the top rank. And that’s why I said before, I had become some sort of machine, because only machines never change their way of working. It’s as if I was programmed in some sort and I religiously executed the code!

But in that process I failed. Why? Because I missed the important lesson of not trying to change the course. When we stick to some way of work or living, we get stuck. We then don’t innovate or try something different. We then don’t learn new things and miss experiencing new adventures in life. And when we don’t learn or experience, that means our life is stuck. Its like a pond where water gets stagnant and eventually dries up, without no fresh inflow of water. While the river on the other side, flows and is dynamic.

This is the second tragedy of success, where consistent success makes us stick to the same path, thereby turning our river like life into a pond, which someday gets stagnated and eventually dries up( and making us bored of success as well)

Finally, the third tragedy of success is quite known which is nothing but complacency. As the legendary CEO of Intel Andy Grove quoted, “Success breeds complacency, complacency breeds failure…” When we get too much repeated success, then we gradually become complacent. This is the law of nature. Because if this would not have been true then the mighty empires like Roman, Ottoman, British would never have fallen down. Even the toppers, the richest, the most famous would have always maintained their status quo. But they all went down, eventually. Because they got complacent at some point in life.

So, the third tragedy of success tells us that even success is not eternal. Yet we strive for it, because we forget that it is not going to be with us forever. Of course this does not mean, that we should not aim for success. No. But knowing the wisdom that if we cling on to just success, then either we become complacent, or we become paranoid to maintain it, which is nothing but the first tragedy of success, where we become like machines to guard our precious success. But doing so, just makes us lose the joy of achieving it. Then what’s the point of getting that success when we can’t even enjoy what we have achieved, right?

Thus, I end this post, with the simple message I learnt from my personal experience of being an early success in life. And that is, to never go after success. Rather to focus on the path of excellence, which inevitably leads us to the pinnacle of success, someday. And the magic is we don’t even know when we have climbed the Everest because we were busy enjoying the ascent of Everest!

© Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Copyright © 2021 AbhikNotes – Powered by WordPress.com

I wish I had known before..Part 1

I wish I had known somethings early in life such as …….

Today, I am writing about few things in life which I wish I had known before….But I think most of us get to know this only through experience, or maybe few of the lucky ones might get this wisdom early in life as well. But here’s my first wisdom I wish I had known before…..

Early success in life is not really a big thing

Yes, this is because when we are in school and university, we often are very disciplined and studious. We take our study and academic life very seriously ( atleast many of us, and I took it pretty seriously). So, with that hard work, we get the good grades and marks. And we think that is success. Because, after all, in school and college life, marks or GPA is the only yardstick to judge if we are progressing or failing, isn’t it? But that early success is really not a big achievement. Why?

Firstly with that continued success ( I say this because I used to be either a topper, or always amongst the top five in class), we become complacent, and even limit ourselves to our studies only. We form a fortress around ourself, with what is called as comfort zone, and then we are happy with that success inside that comfort zone. We make friends who are just like us, either toppers, nerds, or achievers. That’s when groupism starts, as we limit ourselves from getting to know the other things in the world. Now, I know studying is one of the important parts of school and college life, as it imparts the future perks like good college, scholarships, good job and lots of nice things in life. And I agree with that, as my life would not have been as comfortable ( atleast to a certain extent) had I not studied and got good grades.

But the problem is we often sink ourselves into that world of success early in life. And in that process, we miss out a lot. Because schooling, teenage and early 20’s life never ever come back again, once its gone. And once we are adults, we have to work, there is no escape except if you are born in a Kardashian or Paris Hilton family. And the adulthood brings with it all its own set of perks like responsibility, stress, work pressure, deadlines, financial obligation, relationship commitment, marriage, kids etc etc. So, failing in adulthood is not a good option. We have to work and achieve some degree of success, depending on our ambitions and goals.

So, only childhood and teenage life has that advantage when we really don’t need to work so hard. Because as I had seen in my generation, and it continues till today, that kids, teenagers and collegiates are so much stressed out regarding their grades, homework, assignments, exams, projects and what not. The coaching classes have created even more mess into their life, by having 6 to 8 hours of classes. They not only have to study in school, but also at home, almost till they go to bed. And with the ed-tech companies and digital apps, now, there is no longer any restriction to study for x number of hours only. With apps and online education, 24×7 classes and coaching is ON…. Even kids as small as 6 to 8 years old are introduced and forced to do coding by a startup in India. The rat race for IIT coaching was there at that time, and now it has worsened. These poor kids and teenagers have to spend their 5-6 precious years just to get the early success in life, by cracking a particular exam, or getting 5.0 GPA to get into MIT, harvard or even become like mark zuckerburg.

Hence, I think that early success and working until getting exhausted is really over-rated. There is no need for all this. Because later in life, they have to work until they get retired. There is simply no escape. And I think that if they work too much in their early life, then the possibility to get burned out and hence, lose interest in life is more. This happens, and I am also a part of it. Sometimes, I just dont want to work anymore, even though I like to work. Why? Because I have been doing that since my school or college days, and so I am not only bored to do that again and again, but also I miss my old days for not having done few things which were easily possible. Like playing a particular sport, video games with friends, going out for trekking or cycling with school buddies, dating a girl whom I liked ( but not possible now as she is either married or dating someone else or away living in some other country), or even reading books of famous authors like Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, or Isaac Asimov.

And I miss doing those activities, as I was just busy at that time in persuing that early success which no one cares today. That success made me miss other things which could have made my life more enriched with experiences. That early success made me live in a bubble, where I felt academic or college accomplishments is all that mattered. Oh Boy, I was so wrong! That early success even made me lose the opportunity to spend quality time with my family, friends or even the girl which I liked. And most important of all, that success made me unaware of what failure is. Because as said by J K Rowling and many successful people, that it is failure that teaches the lessons which enable us to grow in life, and not success. As J K Rowling said.”…that I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.” But even she realized later that her early success could not prevent her from spinning down into poverty, committing some mistakes and getting depressed. Because she admits that she had been avoiding failure, and had been in an illusion that her early success will enable her to ride the journey of life. But later did she understand the importance of failure, and how it teaches the vital lessons of life.

That’s why it is said that “Failures are stepping stones to success”. Hence, I wish I had known earlier that it is OK to fail early in life as life is always simpler when you are living with your parents, and you are not bombarded with colossal responsibilities. And you have time, and space to fail, and rise again, again fail at something else, and learn from it to rise again, when you are 16 or 20 years old. But once we enter the field of adulthood, I do not believe the world opens its arms to embrace you with your failures. So, the room for improvement is highest when we are very young. Ofcourse, it does not mean we cannot fail at later age. Yes, we can but just that the efforts to climb up amidst all the paraphernalia is not very welcoming.

Hence, I would say that just as we were taught the poem “Early to Bed, Early to Rise…..when we were kids, I think we can tweak that a little bit, such as “Early to Fail, Early to Rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise!”

© Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Copyright © 2021 AbhikNotes – Powered by WordPress.com