Whenever we measure the success of a person, normally we refer to his riches, the wealth s/he accumulated. How many bungalows s/he has; how many cars and which brand; how many trips they make abroad and may be how many times they feast at high end clubs or at 5-star hotels? So by and large the financial success of a person decides his/her stature in the society by the society.
Let me be very frank that I also thought on the similar lines to some extent. Though I have been quite happy with my middle class badge having stayed in small rented accommodation since my childhood. My parents had arrived in India penniless when our great nation was divided in 1947 and they left their ancestral properties in Pakistan from where they were forced to fled or face death or face conversion. My father could make a small house as late as in 1979 and I could get my own flat only in 2012. With this background of mine, I did feel that those who had big houses, big cars or employed in big companies with fat pay packets and perks were obviously more successful.
I took premature retirement from Indian Navy as a Commander in 2002 and joined the corporate world. A total of nine years of experience as Founder Dean of a private university, a consultant at India and SAARC region level for a top MNC and then Prseident of two companies did improve my financial condition to a large extent. I did enjoy the 5-star culture and travelled also across the globe. But then I came across a large number of highly successful corporate leaders in terms of their status, designation, pay packets and perks. Majority of them were much younger to me in age but were having tea with sugar free tablets. They were not able to eat sweet rasgullas as per the advice of their doctor. Some of them hardly found any quality time to spend with their wife, kids and parents. And this resulted into constrained relationships within the family in some cases.
So I came to the conclusion that financial success alone cannot be a true parameter of success. There has to be something more. So I decided sometime in 2010/11 that nowonwards, I shall be on my own as a corporate trainer in the field of Human Engineering. I had been a hard core techie from IIT Kharagpur and later in the Indian Navy. Later, I had gained some experience in Project Management, TQM, BPR and TQM etc. also. During my 22 years of Naval life and then nine years in corporate and academics, I realized that top class technology is very important and so are the processes but it is the People who are most important. If the Man behind the machine is not full of energy with a positive attitude and mind set, no amount of certifications and courses will help in improving the productivity and profitability of the organization.
So while preparing one module on ‘Goal Setting and Achieving Them’ out of a total of 12 modules under BEP (Business Excellence Thru People), I came across the question of achieving success in life. So what is success? One way of defining Success could be “Achievement of Pre-defined Goals”. A student works hard for JEE and is able to get into an IIT of his choice and get the discipline of his choice too will be considered as successful. But then, that is not the end. He has to keep working hard to clear all the exams, semester after semester and then finally prepare for interview and get a reasonably good job. This goes on and on in life. On the way, many times you have to compete against others also and achieve success by defeating the opponent. All these are basically short term goals in your life which you keep achieving. They can’t be called as Success in Totality or in True Sense.
So after a lot of research and delving deep into Hindu philosophy and a bit of inputs from other isms and my own understanding, I concluded that here are six Fs, that can be called as Six Parameters of True Success in modern times:
- Financial Success
- Family Happiness
- Friends Networking
- Fitness of Mind, Body and Soul
- Fun, Adventurism, Creativity in Life
- Feeling for society and poor/underprivileged
You may see that the first F, the Financial Success is very important in modern times. You would love to send your kids to good schools. Your wife would love to do shopping a bit liberally and you would also love to have a decent a/c car and your own dwelling unit too. But then this is just one of the six parameters.
Can you feel successful in life if your family is not happy? If you are not able to spend quality time with them? So that becomes my 2nd F. The 3rd F is for having a good network of good friends. Not the one you have on FB or WhatsApp groups. But the ones who will rush to you for help when you have a problem. They will stand by you always and everytime in thick and thin.
My 4th F stand for Fun and Adventure. According to me life will be boring without fun in life. So let us have fun/adventure in life through picnic, tracking, long bike rides or a trip to a zoo or a museum or even attending a theatre workshop etc. Bring some adventure in life and it could be as simple as a visit to an adventure park or even trying Thai or Mexican food which in case you don’t eat regularly.
5th F is most important. Fitness of mind, body and soul. You have all the wealth but can’t enjoy due to high BP, sugar or depression. So success in life has no meaning if you are not healthy. And that includes a sound mind, a pure soul in a healty body.
The last F according to me is for having a Feeling. This feeling is for the society around you. Feeling for the poor and the deprived and even for your neighbour. We should have feeling for our country and in fact for the whole humanity including the environment, nature and even animal world. This feeling will make you a Giver.
So whenever, you wish to determine the success level of anyone vis-à-vis someone else, compare their these six Fs as parameters and allocate them points for each of them out of (say) 10. And then see who scores more in totality. The one scoring higher average should be considered more successful even though s/he may be at a lower level in Financial success. So strive for better scores in all six Fs to be truly successful.