Saturday, September 09, 2006


How would you gauge the success of someone’s life? I want to try my hand at it.
I suppose the first step would be identifying the parameters on which you would gauge someone’s life. To do so, I believe we would have to ponder over some rather metaphysical concepts, the most important being- What is life? Do not break your head trying to understand the whole reason behind evolution and that first spark that was responsible for the complex process of generation of life. Travel on those lines and very soon, you would believe your life to be a pointless and insignificant speck in the larger scheme of things. Understand that the beginning does not matter and nor does the end. What matters is the journey. Simply put, it is a miracle that we are here and now. It really should not matter why.
This is getting a bit too complex, so to simplify, consider an example.
You are walking on a road you see a soiled lottery ticket lying on the ground. You have the newspaper in your hand and know that the winning numbers are somewhere inside. Various possible outcomes of this situation do well to show what kind of a person you are.
You see it there but it is dirty and you really ought not soil your hands. You ought to get to work soon and anyway, the chances of it being a winning ticket are slim. Maybe one in a billion. For all you know, it could well be last year’s ticket. Ah! why pick it up? You are getting late so move on!
You see it but it is dirty and you have to get to work. It could have been a winning ticket if this were a movie but this is life such things do not happen. In addition, think why would it be there? Obviously, someone threw it away because it was not a winning ticket. Moreover, some moron must have picked it up and justified the tag and then thrown it away to prove that there are more idiots like him. What are you anyway? A rag picker? Get real, move on!
What ticket? I did not see one! I am too busy to be looking at trash anyway.
Hmmm… could it be? Ah! What the heck, it is there so you take a chance. You pick it up and check the numbers…

The result of course, is immaterial, at least in the light of what I am trying to say! Next step, analysis.

The first kind are the ponderers. They will justify the safer path and then spend the rest of their days wondering, what if? They know the options available but are too reluctant to take the gamble. Nothing risked, nothing gained. They end up in a 9-5 job, white collared, salaried life in the upper middle class. They might not have achieved the best in life but they are not worse either. They are satisfied with where they are.
The second kind, are the realists. These are the people who justify their actions by stating the inevitable question- What is life? They are indifferent. Neither too happy nor too sad. Life goes on- same shit, different day.
The third type are the people who are so engrossed with their chores that they forget life even exists. They achieve some pretty big things and manage to reach the upper echelons. To them, work is worship. Before they realize it, they are 40. Relatively satisfied over worked and clue-less they are the kind of people who retire early and end up doing at 50, all that others their age were doing in their teens, viz. chasing women and watching movies.
The fourth type are the risk-takers. Some end up as the giants who graced the planet, while others end up bust. There are no middle path trotters in this category. They give life their best shot and are either filthy rich or clean paupers.
So, which are the happiest?
All of them. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. You could end up in a 9-5 life, pressed constantly to meet unrealistic deadlines but hey, you are never out of your comfort zone. No extremes as each moment is as good as the next. You are content with what you have and did not aspire to achieve what you could not. You are happy.
On the other hand, you could be deeply engrossed and for the major part of your life and then one day realize that you life happened while you were planning it. You deem it is the time to put your plans to practice and though a tad late, you set about doing what you love. The previous part was not as good as this but hey; if you had not lived the previous life, you would not be here. You are content and happy!
You could have achieved everything you set for yourself and then again set out to achieve something that others do not consider realistic. You spend your life being miserable about all you have not achieved and yet garner the greatest joys from trying to achieve them. You are never content but that in itself is your state of happiness!
You might not have achieved anything and be satisfied with the fact that you did not spend your life pointlessly trying to achieve unrealistic goals. Instead, you spent your life admiring the finer points of life. You are not seen in the snazziest cars in town but you can hold your head high wherever you go. You are happy and content.
So, is there a moral to such a long article? Or is it just abstract philosophical crap from an eccentric? Both actually. Just want to welcome you to wherever you are!


Saurabh said...

Good things happen when people take my advice.

That was a great post !
I liked the interesting (though pretty confusing) example about the lottery ticket.

Good classification of people too, though I think there might be something missing (umm ... can't put my finger on it though)

Anyways, a fantastic first post and welcome to the world of blogger land !

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

hehe, thank you but you really oughta be a bit severe on me man. the end is pathetic i think and the subject even worse. anyway, thank you. you shall see more of me soon.

Rishi Agarwal said...

hey , nice blog, bro...Really nice topic to write on...

I came across ur link thru Saurabh's blog, but I liked ur blog coz this was exactly ( or somewhat ) what I was thinking a few weeks back.

How do u judge success and failure ? its very Relative. Either u can quantify success by comparing your's with other's. But each one has his own definition of success. And maybe that is what a person achieves in the end , and that is what matters.