Try Try Try again…until you succeed.
I grew up listening to this proverb. A constant reminder about the need for perseverance, the need to keep trying, to never give up, always telling you that you need to succeed. What is this success?
As I reflect further on my upbringing, it was always about the need to succeed. Success was about competitively advancing ahead of the reference set. In class, success was about getting good grades – the reference set for learning. It was about getting the top ranks in class, the reference set for relative performance. In society it was about good behavior, the reference set for social acceptance & alignment to norms. At home it was about respect, obedience and discipline, the reference set for conformance and alignment to authority. At work it’s about your ratings, a reference set for peer performance, yet again. A conduit that defines the reference set for your fiscal status, a reference for relative peer performance to the society.
All through life success was always being better that someone else or a predetermined benchmark. It was never about being unique in the field. It was never about exploring your capacity. It was never about challenging assumptions. It was never about breaking new ground. It was always about results.
Upon further reflection, I realize that every story I was ever told, always had a moral. Whether it was my family or at the school, they always wanted to know if you could decipher the moral of the story. And it always had only one right answer. It reinforced one view, one paradigm, one angle, one measure, one benchmark. Anyone who didn’t get it, didn’t fit in. They were unconventional, outliers, social non-conformists.
Why does everything need a moral, a takeaway, a result? Why does one have to measure everything, compare, evaluate define what’s the better option?
Why can we never do things for the “experience”? Why can we not allow the experience to be an end it itself?
It struck me that experiences have no measure. There is no measure for happiness. No measure for love and affection. No measure for generosity. No benchmark for passion. No metrics for kindness. The unconditional love of a mother for her child cannot be captured, defined or measured.
There is no measure for the calm and tranquility of a sunset at the beach, or the measure for the sheer adrenalin rush that I felt when I plunged down from an airplane at 14000 feet for a free fall.
What if we measured people on “doing one act of generosity every day”? What if you had a target for the number of times you smiled in a day? What if people had to do something that they enjoy the doing and not focus on the result..eg walking barefoot on grass with fresh morning dew.
Success seems to be “exclusive”. Experience seems to be “inclusive”. Most of us wish to emulate someone else’ success benchmarks.
Success appears to be a social journey. Its about becoming the prima donna in the society. It breeds differentiation. Experience seems a personal journey, its about sharing & breeds belonging.
Success generates the emotion of envy. Experience seems to generate respect and awe.
Every story does not need a moral. My reflection created an interesting experience for me, raised a lot of questions and thoughts.
What if we put experience ahead of success? Happy iFluencing …