February 21, 2010

On Short & Long term Success

Have you ever seen someone who has forever not been successful? I have not! From the most ill-luck-struck and paupers of the world to the top in class businessmen and women, I've seen success in every one of them. The difference is "How long did the success last?"

I was ruminating over something I saw last evening when driving past a well known street-side food vendor (a hangout for people of all ages, creed and social statuses). After a presumably long wait a mendicant got some sizeable moolah from someone who drove down in his Mercedez Benz. I saw both of them get food from the same hangout (can I say they dined together?!?).

The mendicant went back to his business soon after - to seek alms from the passers by, and Mr.Benz whizzed off in his car. This very sight got me thinking - "How are these two different? How are they doing what they are doing? And, why is one seeking alms while the other riding the fast track?"

Success is a subjective term when used independently. When we start associating this term to appropriate people and activities, we realize that success is more objective.

The mendicant who was spending his life seeking alms indeed saw success when he got moolah to satisfy his hunger. To him that was success all about and he wasn't worried about how he would manage his breakfast next morning. This is the short-term success. We all see short-term successes - almost every other day.

However, Mr.Benz saw success from a different pair of glasses - to him, success was somewhere in the horizon and he was (probably) still searching for it. Or just to put it simple, Mr.Benz's glasses weren't myopic.

And, here comes my point - It's not about long-term or short-term success. It's about how much of control you have over your success. If you do not have control over the success factor, you will end up catching the tiger by it's tail. It's not just about gaining success, it's about how well you sustain success in a way that it doesn't trip you. I'll not want to tie this back to the Benz-mendicant story above as I believe open-ended stories can get us thinking!

Keep a check on your success, long or short term, and make success a journey - not a destination. It's all about Kaizen. Keep an eye on the changing factors around you and believe that it can change the success factor.

Stay on the leading edge, and not the bleeding edge! Keep innovating!

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