Success comes to those who don’t seek it

Prasanth Aby Thomas
Published: September 2014

Success means different things to different people. The only thing that can be said as uniform across the board of the people in this matter is that success is what brings them happiness. But how to succeed is a question that does not have a definite answer.

From young age, we are asked to work hard. Our language and culture and rich in idioms and proverbs that glorify hard work. Renowned scientist Thomas Alva Edison is once known to have said “Genius is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration”. Do you need a clearer advice to work harder?

But often our life and this world that we live in is not so simple. There are a number of people who have complained to me that they work hard every day, slog at their desks or in the field, and yet the success that they seek eludes them completely. They don’t get the right breaks at the right time and they end up becoming frustrated.

Here we need to ask the question, is hard work the route to success? Have we not seen people who are not hard workers, who don’t really care about success, getting the right breaks at the right time? Can we just shrug it off as a matter of ‘luck’?

Here is what you need to know, once and for all. Success is not attained by hard work. Success is attained by passion. It is not reached by toning your muscles to push harder at your job or by burning the midnight oil at your office. Success comes by gentleness, when you have a peaceful mind, when you love what you do and most importantly, when you don’t care about succeeding.

To put in David Frost, the famous writer and journalist’s words, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”

The key then, is to do what you love to do. But how many of you are in a position to follow your passion? The modern world is such that we are all forced into industries that are not to our taste, and there our dreams collapse like a house of cards. Today, it takes courage to follow your passion, to take a risk and embrace uncertainty. How many of us have the courage to do that? Not many I am sure.

Take a step backward. How many of you know what your passion is? How many of you have taken time to think what it is that you would love even if no one paid you to do it? Again, not many would be here. This is because our educational system itself cripples free thinking. Even before a child has the maturity to think on his or her own, they are sent to specialized courses by the society.

And even before these individuals realize it, they are bombarded with credit cards and loans that make them indebted forever, taking away any courage they have left to think freely. Hence we end up having engineers and doctors who are unsatisfied in their profession, but have no option to think beyond it.

Unfortunate though the situation is, we need to understand that there is a need to break free from the clutches that bind us. People have to learn to follow their passion. There is an age old saying which roughly means that there is no man who is without talent, it is all about finding out what that is.

We are all unique, there is no one without talent. But we live in a world that encourages some talents and discourages the other. Thus we see some people excelling at what they do, others failing at it. This is not because the losers are useless, it is because they are just not doing what they are meant to do.

Hence the best advice here is, do not waste your time searching for success, let success find you. Spend your time on finding out what it is that you would love to do and pursue it with your whole heart. Then you will not only see that success comes to you naturally, but also realize that material success is not a big deal at all.

In fact, when you do what you love to do, success will not be a destination, or an eventual reward for the work. Success will be the in the process of work that you would be involved in. Every day and every moment that you are indulged in your passion will be success for you.

According to Dr. Kapil Gupta, who writes on the website The Dumb Little Man, “When you love something so deeply that you could not care less whether it leads to success or failure, you are on the right path. Success will not only arise, but she will chase after you like an unrequited lover. Not because you want her to. But because she simply has no choice.”

So waste not your time, start thinking today and find out what it is that you seek, success or your passion. Make it a life goal to follow your passion and have the courage to say no to distractions. This would be the biggest decision you take for yourself and the best thing you can do for yourself. Success, then would only be a matter of time.

As a closing note I would like to bring in the renowned author and philosopher Paulo Coelho’s words. When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This is perhaps the best line there is to illustrate the need to follow your passion. Only when you love something you will really want it and only when you really want it, it would be yours. A similar thought is echoed in the recent best seller ‘The Secret’ and its concept of the law of attraction.

Hence good luck to you all to find what you love and follow it with passion.