The idea of hard work leading to success has been a universal and sacred tenet for centuries.
But is it true?
Does hard work truly lead to success?
Is every hard working person that you know a success?
Or is their life full of disappointments and anguish?
As is always the case, this advice is a reactionary response to laziness. Those who lack drive and motivation are told that they need to work hard in order to become a success.
However, the idea of hard work has led to just as much frustration as has the failure to reach one’s goals. And there are good reasons for this. Since childhood, whatever activity we have been involved in, we have been told to do it HARD. Work hard, play hard, study hard, strive hard, practice hard.
But it is often the case that success arises organically, rather than by force.
It comes as a side effect, a byproduct.
It comes because the circumstances are fertile for its emergence.
It comes when the time is right.
It is not necessarily won by grabbing it by the throat.
Often, however, we see human beings fall into the trap of striking a brick wall again and again. We see them attempting to force that which must be brought about through tact.
We see them using muscle rather than sensitivity.
We see them act through brawn rather than gentleness.
Aiming for success directly, rarely results in success. At least not in the form it is envisioned.
Then if hard work is not the secret of success, what is?
If repetition and endless striving is not the answer, what is?
It may be helpful to change our perspective about success. And experience joy on the journey, rather than frustration.
What if we were to abandon the idea of success and failure altogether?
Societal mores would scarce stand for this.
Let us begin with a particular discipline, a craft, a hobby, whatever you would like to call it.
Something that you love to do. Not for purposes of success or fame or wealth or achievement. None of that.
Simply something that you love. Something that you makes you joyful. Something that is difficult for you to stop doing.
Then what if you were to give yourself completely to it. Learn everything about it. Immerse yourself in it. Drink it. Suck the marrow out of it.
Forget entirely, whether you will fail or succeed. Whether you will progress or not. Whether you will “make it” or not. Whether you will become known or not.
Simply do it for its own sake. Do it for the joy that you experience whilst doing it.
And do it with every drop of blood rushing through your heart. Come what may.
Do it for the pleasurable feeling of time disappearing. What a feeling that is.
Do it for the feeling that comes from complete engagement. Without fear of failure or hope of reward.
Can you do this?
Perhaps you have found something like this but you abandoned it because it was not financially viable. Perhaps you were told that there was no future in it.
It is important to know something. If you can do something with so much engagement and with so much care that it consumes your entire being, there will be a future in it.
In fact, you will within it not only a future, but also a glorious present.
If you can give yourself entirely in this way to any particular endeavor . . .
Success will not be some eventual reward. It will be experienced each and every day.
And the ultimate success that you are accustomed to hearing about? That will be yours as well. Not necessarily because you wanted it. Not necessarily because you secretly hoped for it.
But because it is the natural result. Success does not always yield to the strongest or the most robust. She does not necessarily give herself to the ones who call her name the loudest.
She is fickle and mysterious in her ways.
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.
Through speaking engagements and consultations, Dr. Gupta explores with clients and audiences, the manner by which to turn life into a living, and the manner by which to bring about one’s masterpiece in his work. His work has led him to discoveries about life and performance that are in stark contrast to prevailing wisdom. His work can be found at KapilGuptaMD.
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Author: Kapil Gupta MD
Dr. Gupta helps Execs, Pro Athletes, & Celebs become The God Of Their Own Life. www.KapilGuptaMD.com and www.SiddhaPerformance.com