Succeed In the Present Moment
April 27, 2020
Something very nice about kids nowadays is that they push back if they don’t understand anything.
During a conversation on a school assignment, my son repeatedly mentioned that he was hoping to score the highest marks possible and that he would be disappointed if he does not ace the assignment.
I told my son that ” you have to focus less on getting the highest marks and focus more on the process of preparation that goes in before the assignment. The marks you secure will be a function of the preparation you have put in.”
“It’s easy for you to say it. If I don’t think about the top grade, I will not work towards it. So I have to focus on the top-grade first.”
In response, what I told my son might sound a little corny, but I will put it down nonetheless because I feel it’s important and relevant for anyone pursuing goals.
We have all heard the term success is not a destination. It is a journey.
In fact, this statement has been liberally used in some Bollywood movies by the ambitious hero when making a point about the pursuit of his goals.
I want to draw a clear distinction between success and recognition when it comes to goal achievement.
Let me take the example of my son. My son was preparing for a critical Term examination. He had a strong desire to score a 7( 90%+) in the exam. He studied very hard and managed to achieve this milestone. He felt he succeeded in achieving his goal the day his teacher posted the final results on his home page.
The point I make to my son, and anyone who is pursuing some goal or dream is this.
” You do not become a success the day you get a score of seven in the exam. The seven you scored in the Term Exam is, in fact, more a recognition for the success you have had in the preparation leading up to the exam. It is not a success in itself.”
- You were successful when you decided to stay up late and revise the lessons a few times more even though there was a voice in your head that could have said, “it’s ok, go to sleep.”
- You were successful when you took time out to review all the areas where you were struggling and asked your teacher, tutor, or friends to help you out.
- You were successful when you maintained all the class notes in an organized and precise way to be able to review your understanding of the subject matter.
- You were successful in the way you prepared for the exam.
You had to be successful in many small things daily leading up to the exam and the announcement of results.
The seven my son scored was just a recognition for the success he had already achieved much before he went in to write the exam.
All of us are guilty of devaluing the present moment, the today at the expense of the so-called goal of the future. We relegate a goal into something that happens only in the future.
Success is not something that is rooted in the future. We need to recognize that success happens in the present moment when we do the painful, boring activities that are essential for the recognition in the future.
Similarly, failure is also rooted in the present moment. When we fail at the small tasks that needed to be done today, we will likely fail at getting recognition in the future.
The success at doing the right things this moment will propel me towards the goal achievement in the future. Success is not a once in a while agenda. It’s a daily routine.