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Success. How should we define it? Most would define it in terms of amount of money you make. Many would define it in terms of the power you command. Others would define it in terms of your popularity. Some would say it is defined by your achievements and the degrees you have earned. Few would define it in terms the love, affection and respect your friends and loved ones have for you.
The problem with all these definitions is, success depends on something external, usually the approval of others. It is the kind of success that makes you greedy. No matter how much money you make or how many people you appease or command there will always be more. Like certain video games, this kind of success is addictive. You can never have enough. There is always another level to get to.
One can certainly celebrate achievements but the happiness gleaned from them is quite short-lived. If happiness is the goal then must enjoy the process, the journey, instead of forever chasing ghosts of money or fame.
My little one spends hours playing with water, or playing with craft supplies. Rarely is there something to show for at the end of the time spent. Does that mean that time was wasted? Should I insist she spends that time more productively?
I think not. Because, occasionally, I have watched her spend that time. She is so lost in what she is doing, in her expression I see the true definition of happiness. Engaged body and soul, completely absorbed in some activity. It is not a happiness that depends on the outcome of the activity but a much purer happiness, simply enjoying the process.
But what is the point? Where will this lead her?
I don't care. She loves it and that is what matters. But if you really want a point, then here is one. She plays with craft supplies. She is not very adept at making stuff but she tries. Then she imagines what she had made is indeed what it was supposed to be.
Today she folded up some cardboard and said, “Mama that is a hat.”
I nodded and said cool. But she was not finished. She wanted to do more. So then she made a couple of holes and said “That is so the air can come in and you don't sweat.” That's pretty creative for a toddler. Don't you think? So the point is if kids are left to do things that make them happy, they will automatically think creatively and come up with cool ideas.
That does not change when they grow up and start showing interests that can become a career. But unfortunately we often associate careers too strongly with monetary success and under esimate the importance of passion.
I am not saying that earning a livelihood is unimportant, only that it comes second to the happiness that comes from following passions. But what if it is possible to both earn a decent livelihood and follow your passions? The proverbial 'eat your cake and have it too' situation.
As parents we are concerned about the material comforts of our children. We want stability and financial security for them. So, what if, what they love to do won’t make them any money, or not enough for them to support a lifestyle they are accustomed to?
There is always some luck involved here, but the chances of our kids being even materially successful is best if they do something they love. Good ideas come to happily engaged minds and enjoying your job leads to your doing it well and making it likely you will be materially successful too.
Yet there are some things we can do to help our kids be materially successful while following their passions. While, what you do is a matter of love and passion, how you do it requires some discipline and structure.
No matter what you choose as your field, if you want to excel at it, you need to develop a wide angle perspective of it. There will usually be some aspects to your work that are not as interesting as others, and some things you need to do that are down right boring or mundane. In a field you love, these things will be limited but must not be neglected, because they are all a part of making your dreams come true. A structured approach helps you use your time optimally and discipline helps you make the most of your passions both in terms of the happiness you get from a job well done, as well as materially in terms of earning a livelihood.
What could be better than making a career out of your passion, loving your work and being successful both in your own eyes and as a bonus in that of many others? So #Khuljayebachpan with untamed passions to a limitless universe.