Does every story need a Moral? Is success always relative?

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 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 …

About ifluence

I am an eternal optimist and a very strong believer in the power of influence & belief. It has been my experience that most corporations spend disproportionate time in improving productivity of machines, processes, etc but do mere lip service to improving the real capabilities of people. I have always found that people, who feel connected, listened to and cared for genuinely, create a discontinous and disproportionate level of performance, that far outweighs any productivity increase. I am dedicating this blog to sharing my experiences and perspectives on unlocking the power of people.
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5 Responses to Does every story need a Moral? Is success always relative?

  1. Pingback: A pause for thought… | Thoughts on Paper

  2. Totally enjoyed the perspective… and the reflection it sparked off. Thanks much. Reblogging!

  3. Samta says:

    This is really amazing

  4. sanjeev says:

    Success has always a different meaning to different people. for someone success means geeting into good engineering college, for some one success means becoming a don ( i mean it, many of my friends become one) and for the rest it means big house, many cars, many servants, kids going to the best schools in the town, membership of best clubs in the town( they might not be using any of these things but they want it just to show off).
    In India, it is more of a show off and a rat race and if i withdraw from the race in the middle and start my own milk shop or or dairy farm or school or a small business, people will think that this guy has lost the race or got tired or gone mad.
    so if i stop following the beaten path, i am considered a fool in the society.
    Its not true that most of us try to follow some one else success benchmark. Most of us develop a benchmark of our own based on our experience in the society, based on our upbringing, environment, friend circle, attitude of parents, brothers, relatives etc.

  5. Shiveta says:

    Refreshing perspective….success vs experience…..

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