Success actually

Our culture tells us we are successful if we

  • Are famous (celebrities, sportspersons, actors etc.)
  • Are extremely rich (worth several million dollars)
  • Lead a lavish lifestyle (Lambhorginis, Michellin Star meals, destination weddings)
  • Are powerful (CEOs, Managing Directors, Founders)
  • Graduate from famous colleges (Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge)
  • Do something groundbreaking (Innovators, Explorers, Pioneers)

We are actually successful if we merely

  • Have enough leisure to not keep hustling
  • Nurture a close circle of family and friends
  • Eat nutrious food, and exercise regularly
  • Cultivate habits that preserves our well-being
  • Have enough money to sustain our needs
  • Lean into life with generosity and a sense of wonder

The list below might seem like a terrible compromise. But it is startling how many people deemed successful by the one above, have glaring gaps in the one below.

Leading an ‘ordinary’ but virtuous life is worth celebrating, because it is much harder and more important than our culture leads us believe.

2 thoughts on “Success actually

  1. By saying “Our culture” towards the end you have unknowingly slipped into a culture which is not ours! Our culture always emphasised on austerity and teaches us to look inwards. Hence “जितेन्द्रियः”, one who has won over his senses is given a lofty status.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point. When I say ‘our culture’, I mean the dominant 21st century culture of excess and consumerism.

      All ancient cultures, mine included, emphasize and celebrate austerity.


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