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Monday, July 29, 2013

Hanker not for success nor fear failure

Last evening I was watching an old Hindi movie – Seeta aur Geeta (1972, Ramesh Sippy, starring Hema Malini, Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar). An interesting song in the movie got me thinking about success and failure. The lyrics of the song go: “zindagi hai khel, koi pass, koi fail….khiladi hai koi…anari hai koi….” It means, “Life’s a game…some succeed, some fail…some are great players and some are mere fools…”

While those lyrics are surely reflective of the truth, the other side of the truth is also that neither success nor failure is permanent. And today’s great players often bite the dust even as fools eventually learn to play the game of Life and win! My two-penny worth learning from Life is that we are all a product of the time we go through. Which is why I completely believe in and champion what the Chinese Master Lu-Tsu has said: “Work quietly, silently, untroubled by any idea of success or failure.”

The import here is that we must not get too lost in our idea of success nor be too fearful of failure. All we have to do is to keep at Life – living fully, quietly, diligently. What we must all realize is that success is a by-product of disciplined effort. It will happen on its own. Any obsession with success is a reflection of ambition, ego and greed. And when you are fully immersed in chasing success, you will be haunted by the fear of failure too. Such fear will be debilitating. So, in effect, you will be pulled apart by two conflicting forces. You will be full of turmoil within you. So, the best way to work is to put in your best and leave the rest to Life – choosing to stay detached from the outcome. Knowing, as the Bhagavad Gita says, that if the motive is pure and the means are correct, it will always be fine__your effort will always be rewarded. As Lu-Tsu says, this existence__Life__is very rewarding. Nothing genuine, attempted with integrity, ever goes unrewarded.

So, begin this Monday, by resolving to work quietly. Doing your best__not hankering for success nor fearing failure__and leaving the rest to Life!

Here’s the link to that song from Seeta aur Geeta – it’s catchy and hope its spirit and this learning stay with you all week!

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