A casual look at the world reveals that there is competition everywhere. This is evident in everyday life ranging from games to work. There seems to be one mad rush everywhere: to succeed. Is success truly defined by wealth, and outsmarting others? Does its sheer absence define failure or is there more to this custom? Let’s find out.
If we listen to stories by so-called successful people, we will see that not all of them consider themselves winners. The legendary author Louisa May Alcott, renowned for her classic Little Women celebrating womanhood, lead an austere and abstemious life, and never took pleasure in her fame. For others, however, gaining fame through their work would clearly seem splendid. Frequently, there have been cases where people who were successful businesspersons have lost their families through divorce or have lost their health through overworking. Many envy the preeminent Tesla owner Elon Musk, after all, he is one who has achieved success in its most scintillating form. Many of you may not know that Elon Musk had to work 22 hours each day to reach this position, and still must go the extra mile every waking hour. Even now, he gets only 6 hours of sleep and a minuscule amount of quality time with his children. So, can we really call such people winners? Your opinion may now be changed.
Another instance is Elvis Presley. In the world of pop music, he was the king, a definite winner, but alas, his personal life was far from successful. The King lost his family, and his health, and died miserably from a drug overdose. He had wealth at his disposal, and one is sure that the King would have gladly traded all that wealth for a loving family life.
Another example that is truly heart-wrenching is that of our Nobel Laureate, the greatest, majestic, and glorious Rabindranath Tagore. Guruji’s success needs no introduction, but do you know that in terms of love he did not have much luck? His sister-in-law, who was his companion and playmate in his childhood, committed suicide when he was forcefully married to another woman. His sister-in-law, Kadambari Devi, was his muse, his inspiration, and drove his early genius. He had undying, irrevocable, and ineffable love for her. This story may be a strong conjecture, but it may very well be true, after looking at his many heart-breaking and poignant writings.
Of course, this is not to say that it is good or even acceptable to be poor or a failure in life. However, many people who call themselves losers because they did not win what they set out for do not simply make them so. In Olympic Events, if the person who came in second burst into tears apparently because they did not become number one, can they truly be considered losers? It is a sign of success to be in second place in comparison to many others. Recently, there was an amusing perspicacious advertisement where a lady observed that there are only 12 supermodels in the world and 2 billion women who are not. Surely, they are not all losers. Then again, they are not without beauty.
Life is certainly not only for those considered winners by popular standards. Neither is life to be excluded for so-called losers. We must get past the popular tendency to label people as a “success” or a “failure.” We should be happy enough to be ordinary humans in this beautiful world and find happiness in little things like the smile of a child, the musky petrichor of rain, or the rejuvenating ocean-carried breeze.