The ‘True’ Meaning of Success


What is Success? Is getting through IIMs or IITs success? Is making millions considered as success? Is getting whatever you desire success? Is leading a life of your choice and following your heart success? Or, is living a life of value, and helping the less privileged regarded as success?


Most people have an insular view of success. For them, success means achieving what they desire, which may not be true. Success is much more! It is profound and has more to it than meets the eye. For instance, Verghese Kurien, fondly called as the “Milkman of India” in the wake of the White Revolution initiated by him, wanted to become a mechanical engineer, but ended up in dairy farming. Today, he is widely renowned and highly regarded as the “Father of White Revolution” in India, and also one who brought India on the global map in milk production. Is he then considered not successful (or a failure) because he couldn’t pursue mechanical engineering? John Grisham, a lawyer by profession, gained more popularity as an author than as a lawyer. Today, he has a number of best-sellers to his credit. He had to leave his law profession and take to writing. Do you then consider him as a failure because he could not pursue his legal profession successfully? The term ‘success’ is highly misinterpreted and misused by many. Success is a relative term and depends on one’s perception! What may be considered as failure by you may be considered as success by the other person and vice-versa!


Everyone aspires to succeed in life. Some want to achieve financial success, while some yearn for material success, while yet some others hanker for spiritual success. True success lies not just in accomplishing what you desire, but it is in accepting life or things as they come and as they are. Success and failure are like the two sides of the same coin. Success is nothing but failure turned inside out or upside down. Many a time, we are so glued to failure that we fail to look at the other side of it, which is success. We keep wallowing and self-sympathizing in failure so much that we miss success, which is just within our reach, and which may require us to stretch just that little bit extra! Successful people don’t worry about failures. They don’t keep thinking about their failures. They quickly forget their failures and keep moving from one failure to another. For them, failures are very normal, and an indispensable part of success and life. After all, aren’t failures the stepping stones to success? You shouldn’t be discouraged by failure. Failure happens to everyone. There is not a single person in this world who has succeeded all the time. There is also not a single person in this world who has never failed even once.


Many a time, we take success for granted, but it is failure that teaches us the true value of success. We learn more from our failures than our successes. Failure makes you introspect. Failure compels you to analyze, plan, and work harder. It makes you stronger and more determined to achieve success the next time. Failure makes us human and teaches us the virtues of hard work, patience, and perseverance. Failure may sometimes elicit our innate talent and introduce ourselves more deeply to us, making us realize new strengths that we never knew existed in us! Failure is necessary for success. Failure leads you to success. In fact, I would go to the extent of saying that failure in itself is success, because success is nothing but going from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm!


Sometimes, in our mad frenzy to achieve success by hook or by crook, we fail to understand the absolute reality that hard work, perseverance, and patience are the true keys to success, which cannot be substituted with anything else. PRACTICE may seem just like a normal eight letter word, but it is a very powerful word that can cut down your failure rate eight times out of ten. The faster you want to achieve success, the more you have to practice. The harder you practice, the sooner will you achieve success. Practice is what practice does, just as success is what success does! When you keep on persevering and practicing harder, then success will embrace you at unexpected hours! Sometimes, the best things come to you when you least expect it!



© 2008. P. Mohan Chandran. All Rights Reserved.


7 thoughts on “The ‘True’ Meaning of Success

  1. sucess will always its own benefit in the market, if a person wants to acheive a goal in his life it is attained through his success in every field of life.

  2. The article is truly amazing!! I really never thought that Success could mean accepting life or things as they come and as they are!!! It gives a true insight about the life..It reminds me of something which i read somewhere that Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create
    it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.
    Thanks for this thought provoking aticle.

  3. Hi Mohan,

    Thanks for sending this motivating article. In my views, a child teaches us a lot, how failures help to achieve success. Before they start walking, they fall many times, but they never leave.. they keep trying to stand on their own legs. Once they are able to stand, they try to walk, they fall..finally the walk. Once they are able to walk.. they try to run. God indirectly teaches all those.

    Also, Success and Failures – depend on the personality. Because of continous success, some people get ‘self-esteem’, but some get peole get ‘ego’. Similarly, failures make some people ‘ sturdy’ ; but some people get demotivation/complex problems.

    As you said, one should really gather the learnings from failure to achieve high level of success..

    All the best.

    M. Sekar

  4. Mohan
    That was a nice article. I look at success as crest and failure as atrough in a journey which is like a sine curve!


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