People all over the world get very excited when wealthy people write books with titles such as “How To Succeed in Business.”
Sometimes those books help people. It's interesting that the books that describe techniques that work well don't concentrate as much on success and money as they do on helping people to develop character. I'm very much in favor of this approach. I believe that people should encourage character development in others, and I seek to do that myself.
I look at career development and success as being metaphorically similar to yoga postures. In both, you listen to instructions, you learn techniques, you practice, and you get rid of attitudes and mindsets that keep you from practicing successfully. You then practice more and more, and eventually you succeed in accomplishing your objectives.
Sense of accomplishment in life is very important. And your sense of accomplishment—what you feel you need to do to be successful—will be different from mine to some degree.
Let's say we're both farmers. I own a small parcel of land and generate enough income from farming to meet the needs of myself and my small family. I'm happy with that, and I consider myself to be successful.
But you might farm on a much larger scale. You might raise 78 types of crops on 1,000 parcels of land. You may have many reasons for wanting to grow your business exponentially. For example, you might want to provide for a very large immediate family and a very large extended family, or you might be seeking to fund large-scale charitable endeavors.
In this theoretical example, we are both successful. We have sustenance, and we share our sustenance with our respective communities.
But we can get confused about true success. Even if we have sustenance for ourselves and our loved ones, we may not feel successful. We may not be satisfied or consider ourselves successful unless we get most or all of the things that we want (in addition to the things that we need).
If we think that way, we're on dangerous ground. A view of success that incorporates cravings for things we don't really need is unhealthy. It's usually grounded in subconscious yearnings, misconceptions, faulty upbringing, and self-centeredness.
People should not seek success in a way that moves them away from character development and mental and emotional health and wellness. It causes them to be at war with themselves and oftentimes at war with others—both literally and figuratively.
Do you seek to be successful? If yes, that's great. But take care not to lose yourself in the pursuit of that success.