Success by Indu Balakrishnan

The word reminds me of the poem 

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

I had this friend who always got full marks in maths. And I mean always. So, she had tasted ‘success’ in math, yes? But she would whine on the rare occasion of losing one mark. Me on the other hand would be quite happy with an 85. 

I’m trying to make two points here. One: success is very subjective. And two: Even those people who have been successful still crave and desire it all the more. 

Let’s talk about the first one. Success is subjective. Take three scenarios. 

  1. A man with multiple start-ups but divorced 
  2. A man with a happy family, making barely enough to survive but does not mind and is still happy. 
  3. A man with riches and a wonderful family but still feeling unsatisfied 

So, who do you think was more successful? It’s all perspective isn’t it? 

Now, the second one : Even people have been successful, they still desire it all the more. 

It doesn’t matter whether people have tasted success or not. Success is still just as sweet. And I’m pretty sure I would have not been so upset about getting 99. It’s ironic that someone who has always been successful can get more upset than someone who has never had it. 

Taking the above into consideration, what is the definition of success? Can it be measured by the net value of the assets in possession or the emotions that they create? Is success what is seen by the person in question or how the world sees them? Was King Ashoka successful when he owned the many kingdoms or when he renounced the world and became a Buddhist monk? 

I Googled success and saw definitions about how success revolved around achieving desired goals. Nothing about emotions and happiness. Nothing about contentment. Isn’t that weird? I feel that we have diminished the word success to the attainment of physical objects. All about leaving a legacy behind for the rest of the world to see and admire. 

I’d probably say Success is how far one has come from where one began. It is a very personal thing. One’s success cannot and should not be compared with others because no two journeys can be identical, can it? So, if it cannot have the same factors, how can you come to that conclusion?  It’s like comparing apples with oranges, isn’t it? Very unfair. 

‘Successful’ people could never give the exact recipe for their ‘success’. Hard Work and smart work are all part of everyone’s journey. But it’s quite similar to chaos theory. I loved the explanation that was given in Jurassic Park. Two people could do the exact same thing and deliver different results. It’s probably why my mother’s sambhar and mine rarely taste the same despite the same ingredients. 

If you think that you are successful, then you are. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise. That, my friend, is your success story. Because, you decide your definition of success. Not anyone else. It’s all you. 


  1. lovely write-up ! i wonder who that whiner is for not getting 100 in math 😉 😉 i was so satisfied with a border-line 45 every time….but I guess I am still sane….lol….hope to see more and more from you Indus…enjoyed reading…

    Liked by 2 people

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