Everyone wants to have a successful life but how can we ascertain whether our life was successful or not. What does it mean to be successful? Its a subjective query and different people answer it differently.
I would say that our life is an amalgamation of the endeavours that we undertake and the outcome of those endeavours shape the narrative of our life. Upon reflecting back we will most likely evaluate ourselves on the count of favourable outcomes that we would have had in our different pursuits or endeavours.
Number of goals we managed to achieve would, for most, define how successful we were.
Outcomes of our personal goals such as becoming a millionaire by age of X, creating a successful enterprise, having a happy married life, owning a fancy house or rather 2 houses and so on may help quantify or ascertain our success. I believe most of us would agree and probably consider the same format to evaluate our own life.
While this seems to be a fair way of assessment but its based on a critical assumption that we often times miss.
This assumption is that the endeavours that we undertook were what we “should” have and were simply not the ones that we just ignorantly undertook because everyone else was (pursuing the same).
Some simple checks can help us avoid this trap.
Did we ensure that we pursued goals that were not just nuanced forms of the basic animal necessities of mating, defending, feeding and shelter but were appropriate for an intelligent & conscious being?
Did we set milestones that were worthy of our intellect and our potential? Or did we squander away the opportunity on trivial pursuits to maximise our indulgences? Did we embark upon this journey without any serious contemplation, consideration of our true nature?
If we are not careful with our choice of setting our goal-posts then we are likely to face disappointment when the time comes as we would have missed the opportunity by far & long.
It’s like safely reaching the scheduled destination on a train but then realising we boarded the wrong train so even if we reached the final station safely and in time but its a sheer waste of time & resources and the exercise serves no purpose.
So while we passionately and very determinedly pursue our goals to be successful, we need to be very certain if those goals are worth pursuing or not. These endeavours consume our precious and limited time in this life form and at the same time can devoid us of pursuing other more relevant, meaningful and worthy goals.
So what defines a successful life is not just the outcome of our pursuits but what kind of pursuits do we undertake.
Failure in a worthy endeavour is far better & rewarding than success in an unworthy pursuit. However, not all of us tend to practice this in life.
The irony is that we grossly undermine the value that our time in human form has for us as a spiritual entity and at the same time, immensely overestimate the need to indulge our senses as a material entity.
This misunderstanding is what leads to wrong goal-setting and eventually disappointment for many when the time comes to take stock.
We are fortunate that Vedic texts carry the wisdom and instructions to help identify what our goals should be and also offer guidance on how to pursue them successfully – thus ensuring we onboard the right train and get to the destination in time happily.