Success is Useless

Yeah, you read it right ! 

At least that’s what I believe.

But before putting forward my arguments and letting you decide whether it holds water or not, I would put a disclaimer – making this statement is not sour grapes for me – I have had my share of successes  and failures in life and this statement is not a manifestation of my personal emotions or grudge. It is a conclusion based on careful and deep introspection, and not simply a desultory comment.

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Having said that, now there must be a tinkling in your mind – how can success be useless? After all, our entire life is spent in making efforts to lead a successful life – and hence a happy one. Every soul on this planet craves for success not only in professional life, but also in personal relationships, new ventures, family life etc.  It is on what our life is based – and here comes some random blogger who is questioning the foundation of your life ! Well, success is equally important for that random blogger. She also wants to be a successful blogger, a successful family person and a successful professional.

So how is it useless if it is important?

I never doubted the importance of success – but the utility of it – and there is a difference – a big difference. Because from where I see, I see success only as the food for life and not the food for soul. Success repays your hard work, gives you moments of happiness and revelry, satisfies your ego and enhances you self-respect. 

What lesson does it give you? How does it influence your mind, your nature, your personality – in most cases it either makes you complacent or haughty, or just languid ! In other cases, we become increasingly insecure of losing it. After achieving success in one arena, you move on to the other. I don’t  remember sitting down to retrospect on what I had learnt or what more I could learn in a field, how can I improve and so on whenever I succeeded in anything. I simply moved on to the next level – which is necessary because you got to keep moving ahead,always. But apart from that, what did one truly learn about life?  

Very little, or nada.

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On the other hand, when you fail, you learn what does not work – it gives you knowledge and wisdom. It gives you an opportunity to prove to others and to yourself how strong you are and how quickly you can get back in action after every fall. Whenever someone falls, he has to pick his pieces up and get back up on his own.  Every failure you face in life adds to your courage and inner strength – leaving you more bold than you previously were. It teaches you to be optimistic because believe me – no matter how much pessimism a person has, everybody wants to and does see the light at the end of every dark tunnel. It is just a matter of time – how early one gets over one’s doubts and incertitude. With every failure, that time period decreases – and you tend to get back faster into the game with revived energy and enthusiasm ! Failure teaches you a good sense of humor too–how to laugh the predicament  off and start afresh.

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The problem with failure is that it is always projected in bad light. Right from  childhood, we are taught to embrace success and cast aside failure. And that’s why when I projected success in a bad light – it must have been shocking for many.

Failure is not bad. It is not synonymous with darkness or evil.

In fact, it teaches about life more than success does. Failure is not something to be afraid of ; it does not eat you ; it does not leave you crumpled– but every time it comes, it gives a piece of itself to you – in the form of courage or optimism or sense of humor.

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As Sundar Pichai , CEO, Google rightly said “In Silicon Valley, part of the reason why so many people start companies is because even if you fail, it is a badge of honour.

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Failure does not and should not leave us with depressing thoughts and doubts on our capability. As proudly as we proclaim our success, we should equally embrace our failure. Because when the candle  of  our life will be on the verge of dying down, we will realize while going down the memory lane  that failure was always on our side. We were never fighting it, we were fighting WITH it – to achieve success.

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Reminiscences of the past

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These little  reminiscences of the time spent with you still adorn the pages of my life !

The freshness of the petals is ephemeral, but that of the memories is eternal.  

~

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Hard Work Vs Luck

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Giving up all the pleasures

Burning the midnight oil

Way beyond all measures

That’s how hard he toiled !

       ~           

Day after day, night after night

Perseverance was his game

He never ever let out of sight,

His goal, his purpose, his aim !

          ~           

But on one arduous occasion,

Luck gave him no favor,

Left his morale with abrasions

His will power wavered.

           ~         

Disappointed and despondent,

He started doubting his merit,

Hard work was replaced by lament

Luck was something he did not inherit

          ~            

But then one fine day, he resolved

Not to give up in the fight

Failure made him evolve

Into a person of great will and might

~  

Numerous times in his struggle he fell

But he was never to be backed down

And steadily increased, his drive to excel

Toughest obstacle could not knock him down.

~  

Again he fell, and got up

And the cycle continued

Till the time when even Luck asked him

“What have you got in you ?”

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“Oh mighty warrior, the shining knight”

“I have tried my best to defeat you”

“But you bounce back every time

“How on earth, I have no clue”

~  

Persistent effort is the secret, he said

Hard work is the key

 Luck – “I can hold no longer, take your success

Today, you have defeated me ! “

~  

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A Brother’s Sister

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Cynosure of all eyes,

 I was, for three years long,

 Soon, I heard joyful cries

‘Look sweetie, your brother is born’.

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 Tiny little hands, minuscule fingers,

So delicate he was to hold,

 In the hospital, by his side, I lingered,

 ‘Let him sleep, honey’, mum told.

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I got my first & only sibling,

My very first friend,

This was just the beginning,

 Of a friendship that would never end.

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Sharing toys and chocolates,

He was my partner in crime,

That hasn’t changed till date

Along the years, over the time.

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Once a kid, now fully grown

Into a tall, handsome man,

So quickly, the time has flown

Twenty years is a long span

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But, even after twenty years,

Our bond is very much the same

Still reveling, fighting, sharing  tears

Pulling each other’s leg, calling names !

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I don’t get to see him much

Away from home, I live

But I always keep him in touch

Sense of closeness I want to give.

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I want him to be successful

And lead a happy, sanguine life

Filled with pride and joy, blissful

Complete with children and a caring wife!

~

A Proud sister, I will always be,

I want to see him rise and shine,

Apple of my eye, he will always be

No matter how old he is, brother mine !!

                                                                                               ~

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Mutual Admiration Sessions

The man who discovered fire meets the man who invented the wheel ('I've always admired your work).

Me: “I am feeling so low today. There is so much competition out there in the world. I feel I am not worth anything.”

Roomie (visibly panicked) : “ What happened ? Are the mid-sems result out? ”

Me : “No! It’s just that I don’t know what I am doing with my life.”

Roomie: “ Why are you in a brown study today ? ” Don’t tell me you have completed the entire Supernatural series and have no more episodes to watch. The ‘Sherlock’ episode has come out. You can watch that.”

Me : “ I am serious. I am 20 now and I am just not satisfied with what I am today. I feel worthless.”

Oh! by the way, I did complete the Supernatural series, and I have put the ‘Sherlock’ episode on download.

That’s not the point. I think I don’t have the qualities to be a successful person in life. How will I fulfill my aspirations when I am not even confident enough about my abilities and strengths? Forget the aspirations, I don’t even feel good as a human being !!”

Roomie (in a saturnine tone) : “Well, I am on the same page with you ! Indeed there are so much expectations and hopes with one’s life that I am scared and afraid of facing the world after college. I want to live a happy and successful life and the fear of failure haunts me everyday.”

Me (histrionically) : “Am I ever going to cheer up ?? Will I ever regain my confidence? Am I good for anything? Oh, how I wish someone could bring me back to life !

Roomie: Don’t lose heart! Ok, Let’s do one thing. Let’s play a game so that we can both cheer up and regain the lost confidence.

Me: What game?

Roomie : You list one strength/ admirable quality that I have , and then I will list yours. We will keep rotating the turns. But no exaggeration and pretense ! You don’t have to flatter me. It should be genuine.

Me: Will that work?

Roomie : I have not tried, but let’s check !

    ~

And man did it work! By the end of a 15 minute-long session, alternatively admiring the other person and hearing words of praise for yourself, the mood was lifted , the missing confidence regained and a lesson was learnt.

The account dates back to my college days and is one of the most vivid moments that I shared with my room-mate. That day, we learnt two things:

  1. Admiration lifts our mood and helps us regain confidence. So that day we promised to each other that if ever, either of us feels low or disheartened or worthless in life, the other would come to the rescue – not only to shower admiration on the gloomy friend and cheer her up, but also to make her see the beauty in the world by making her to praise the former.
  1. A girl understands a fellow girl’s mindset so well! 🙂

From that day, it was a secret we both had kept to ourselves, until this day when I am letting the cat out of the bag. We even gave a name to the game – ‘Mutual Admiration Sessions’.

Well the game was a stroke of serendipity, but can it not be extrapolated to our life ?

During the course of the journey we call life, we often come across predicaments which tend to shatter our confidence in our own being. Our worth becomes a blurred image and we tend to question the correctness of every decision we take, owing to the failures we encountered in the past or harbingers of discouragement we came across. Ideally, our conscience should remind us of the accomplishments we have achieved in the past and the greater heights we are capable of reaching in future – we know it as self-confidence. But at certain times, our conscience ceases to communicate and gets buried under a thick cover of apprehensions and doubt. We need an external agent to lift that cover and show us a picture of what truly we are capable.

The endeavor should not be equated to chest thumping – the intention is not to get blinded by the admiring words showered upon by the ‘mutual admiring partner’. That’s why, it is mutual. You will hear praise for yourself, but you will also have to point out qualities that you admire in your fellow participant. It will negate the probability of getting lost in narcissism. Eventually, when the cover is lifted, your mood will be lifted along with your confidence.

I also believe that some people will find it silly and childish and immature.

When somebody is depressed and low, and has lost all the trust and faith on oneself and one’s capabilities, how can such a stupid game help?

My answer to all those people:

You have been serious all your life. Try being silly for a change !

It might work for you, it might not ! I give no guarantee. But at least it will be worth a try.

Well, it helped me and my roomie ! 🙂

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Letter to my Future Kid

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My darling,

How are you keeping kiddo? I hope angels are taking good care of you.

I am reminded of you everyday, sweetheart. Your thoughts flash into my mind when I see kids playing in the park or on the street – the carefree demeanor, the boisterous movements ; not a single worry in the world. I am reminded of you when I see a mother feeding her baby in a restaurant, leaving aside her own food; I am reminded of you when I see kids scared of water, clinging onto their fathers in a swimming pool. But I am also reminded of you when I hear young teenagers committing suicide either because of poor grades or failed relationships. I am also reminded of you when I hear young girls being brutally raped and murdered. There are other dark evils residing in this world, my child, that your little, innocent mind can not even fathom.

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But you don’t have to worry, my darling. I intend not to scare you but to assure you that your mom along with your dad is going to take good care of you. Every evil thing trying to come close to you will find me standing in the way.

I promise.

You are my bundle of joy ,
Does’nt matter a girl or a boy ! 🙂

I would be happy to buy t-shirts for you as much as I will be happy to buy frocks.

You don’t have to worry about your school grades. I don’t care whether you get an ‘A’ or ‘B’. If getting an ‘A’ makes your heart happy, do it. I will not mind! But don’t pressurize yourself. Do what makes you happy, because only then you will do it with your full vigor.

If you are not interested in studies after school and want to pursue any other field, I will never object. My only condition – do your work sincerely and passionately in whichever field you are. Never settle for mediocrity and be true to your passion. I will be more than happy to see you doing what you love.

I don’t want you to be successful and ambitious as much as I want you to be a good human being, kiddo.

As a parent, I might not be able to fulfill each and every demand or wish that you have – some because of my inability and some because of your greater good – but believe me – I will give you everything you need to make your life comfortable and happy. So forgive me if I do not get you a smartphone or an ipad or a play station when you are young – I would like you to play with other kids and socialize outside. It is more important.

If you fall in love, I would never object to your marriage, because of ludicrous reasons like ‘Oh, she/he is of a different caste/religion/nationality’ but I would object if she/he is not a good human being. But I will not be hesitant to accept him/her if you have confidence on your choice. One more thing, marriage does not make you less of our kid and our home – less of your home. Always keep that in mind.

You will always be the apple of my eyes, baby.

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Take me more as your friend than your mom. Do not hesitate if you ever face a problem. Remind me whenever I deviate from my promise. Forgive me if ever I am harsh on you – I just want you to be a happy and a good human being.

I will always love you, honey!

Your future Mom

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Thank you Doctor !!

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Thank you doctor for bringing me into this beautiful world and giving my parents their first bundle of joy!

Thank you Doctor for cheering me up and making me smile while giving me vaccination injections.

Thank you Doctor for offering me chocolates every time I came to your clinic for treatment of minor ailments or for vaccination.

Thank you doctor for treating me when one of my friends accidentally hit me in the eye, although you had to get up from sleep at night.

Thank you for consoling my mother and telling her I was absolutely fine, who was so scared and alone while my dad was away on business tour.

Thank you doctor for bringing my younger brother who has become the apple of my eyes, into this world.

Thank you doctor for treating my mother’s stones.

Thank you doctor for turning up at my house late at night while I was burning hot with fever.

Thank you doctor for inviting me to your yoga sessions and introducing me to meditation, which has left an indelible and soothing effect on my body and mind.

Although I failed to say this to you each time you gratified me with your care, I am saying it to you today.
Innumerable thank yous for the past and equal number of thank yous for the future, because , you, Doctor, are an indispensable part of every human ‘s life. You are the blessed creation of God and an angel in disguise. Although many a times we fail to realize this, but if God created us, you brought us into this world. Yours is the noblest profession of all.

To every Doctor on this planet, on this Doctor’s day (in India), I offer my deepest respect and gratitude.

  Happy Doctor ‘s Day !!

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For all the doctors and patients alike,  here is a must watch video : Patient Doctor Relationship