What is Success?

Success is looking forward
All aspire for ‘success’ – the magic word we hear the moment we are introduced to our goals. It is only when we have accomplished some of them that we tend to ponder over this question – what is real success? Is it what people around us define for us or is it what the world thinks or most importantly – is it what we think, and believe it to be?

Sometimes this question never comes to our mind. We get so engrossed in the perpetual race of earning money, more money and fame that any other aspect of life doesn’t just occur to us. Till we get tired of running and rushing, till we yearn for some peace, till we realize we need a break!

It is only at such a time that we let our minds wander to these irrelevant but most significant questions. There is no specific age for such reflections. It all depends on the maturity and the hard work, which we have put into our aspirations and how successful we have become.

So we come back to the question: what is success for you? Is it money or fame? Is it how powerful and popular you are in your arena? Is success measured by your purchasing power or the influence you can cast on people around you? Have you ever pondered or even thought about all this?

If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. If all you want is money, then, keep on pursuing it but I am sure you will get tired of your wild goose chase in a few years. If you want power, to influence people—this kind of illusion vanishes soon because our minds are very supple, they are easily influenced by change and new faces.

No single person can hold the attention of people for a long time and successful people know it very well. Once you have achieved some level of success, you have to take care of other aspects of your life. You can’t afford to focus on more money and more influence. There is more to success than just practical goals.

No single definition: 

Success is subjective; it can be defined in as many ways as you wish. To my mind, it does not refer to just arriving at your goals and then basking in the glory of those accomplishments. There is no end to goals. They keep on multiplying with each achievement.

Yes, it may be completing one part of your journey, which you started, to build a career of your choice but you have to continue that journey to satisfy your needs. It is at this stage that you have to define your limits. Are you satisfied? Are you making a constant progress or do you need to make a new beginning?

Success is being happy, being at peace with yourself; being able to look after yourself and being content. If you are not happy after all the efforts you have been putting in to earn money, then it is time to pause and redefine your success.

Money is no doubt an important component of success but it is not the only one. If success does not add compassion to your life, if it expects you to become mechanical, if it consumes all your time, if you have no time for your family, if your children dislike you…would you call this success?

Let’s try to understand it in a different manner – success can be defined at two levels: personal and professional. Which one is more important to you? I know all of us give a lot of importance to professional part of our life and in the process personal aspect gets pushed into background.

Sometimes it is difficult to slow down our pace and by the time we realize we need to look back, we could have missed the best part of our life, the precious hours, which we could have spent with family. Success is redefining your goals

Success does not just mean a lot of money and power or the house of your dreams, filled with lovely faces. It also means bringing a smile on those faces with your own presence. It means spending quality time with your spouse and children. It also means glowing in their happiness and feeling that much sought after peace of mind.

Success is not just money:  

Young and ambitious may equate success with more money, more comforts and enormous purchasing power. They are too immature to understand why rich people are not happy and how their money has failed to bring that stage of life, at which they can say – ‘I have nothing more to ask for.’ That stage never comes because money is never enough and it cannot buy health, contentment and peace.

You may argue that health should not be the priority for those who are just at the brink of hitting success, who are about to accomplish their goals and they have to put that extra hour to push ahead and to prove themselves. No longer so! The stress of modern life and the demands of galloping technology may affect your health in various ways.

Success in itself should be a long-term goal, which involves values we live for. If we equate it just with money and stop doing so after we have accumulated enough, it would be very difficult to change our expectations at a later stage.

Success is taking control of your life the way you want it to be. Many times the situation gets out of our control; the paths may diverge, we may not see the same kind of results we hope for and in disappointment, we may get pushed toward an unwanted way.

Success should definitely be following our passion and refusing to accept what we don’t want.

Success is:

  • enjoying our work
  •  being happy and making others happy
  •  upholding the values you believe in
  •  contributing something positive to the society
  •  bringing a smile to the faces of few
  •  earning love, respect and appreciation of people around you.

Success is leaving your footprints behind, so that others could remember you.

What does success mean to you?

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

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Survival of the Fittest #NewRelease

Please welcome my blogger friend Jacqui Murray who has a new book, very different from the usual ones we read, as she has tried to trace the way people survived and faced their enemy 850,000 years ago. I am reading this brilliant book and would like you to delve into it. I am sure you are going to like it.

Survival-of-the-Fittest-coverShort Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Book information:

 Title and author: Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

One question that haunted me has been answered so well by Jacqui!

How do you differentiate Xhosa (this book’s main character) from the human species that probably led to her extinction?

Homo erectus (Xhosa) was a brilliant creature, worthy of our respect and admiration. This species is the longest lasting human species ever. Where her predecessor chose flight over fight, she never did, always confronting her enemy , always believing that she could win.

 But, sometimes, that’s not enough. Though she was tough, aggressive, and tenacious, like the alpha animals she defeated, a smarter human species was her undoing.

 At least, lots of scientists think so. Truly, there are lots of theories.

Jacqui has also shared the captivating beginning of her book:

Chapter 1

Her foot throbbed. Blood dripped from a deep gash in her leg. At some point, Xhosa had scraped her palms raw while sliding across gravel but didn’t remember when, nor did it matter. Arms pumping, heart thundering, she flew forward. When her breath went from pants to wheezing gasps, she lunged to a stop, hands pressed against her damp legs, waiting for her chest to stop heaving. She should rest but that was nothing but a passing thought, discarded as quickly as it arrived. Her mission was greater than exhaustion or pain or personal comfort.

She started again, sprinting as though chased, aching fingers wrapped around her spear. The bellows of the imaginary enemy—Big Heads this time—filled the air like an acrid stench. She flung her spear over her shoulder, aiming from memory. A thunk and it hit the tree, a stand-in for the enemy. With a growl, she pivoted to defend her People.

Which would never happen. Females weren’t warriors.

Feet spread, mouth set in a tight line, she launched her last spear, skewering an imaginary assailant, and was off again, feet light, her abundance of ebony hair streaming behind her like smoke. A scorpion crunched beneath her hardened foot. Something moved in the corner of her vision and she hurled a throwing stone, smiling as a hare toppled over. Nightshade called her reactions those of Leopard.

But that didn’t matter. Females didn’t become hunters either.

With a lurch, she gulped in the parched air. The lush green grass had long since given way to brittle stalks and desiccated scrub. Sun’s heat drove everything alive underground, underwater, or over the horizon. The males caught her attention across the field, each with a spear and warclub. Today’s hunt would be the last until the rain—and the herds—returned.

“Why haven’t they left?”

She kicked a rock and winced as pain shot through her foot. Head down, eyes shut against the memories. Even after all this time, the chilling screams still rang in her ears…

The People’s warriors had been away hunting when the assault occurred. Xhosa’s mother pushed her young daughter into a reed bed and stormed toward the invaders but too late to save the life of her young son. The killer, an Other, laughed at the enraged female armed only with a cutter. When she sliced his cheek open, the gash so deep his black teeth showed, his laughter became fury. He swung his club with such force her mother crumpled instantly, her head a shattered melon.

From the safety of the pond, Xhosa memorized the killer—nose hooked awkwardly from some earlier injury, eyes dark pools of cruelty. It was then, at least in spirit, she became a warrior. Nothing like this must ever happen again.

When her father, the People’s Leader, arrived that night with his warriors, he was greeted by the devastating scene of blood-soaked ground covered by mangled bodies, already chewed by scavengers. A dry-eyed Xhosa told him how marauders had massacred every subadult, female, and child they could find, including her father’s pairmate. Xhosa communicated this with the usual grunts, guttural sounds, hand signals, facial expressions, hisses, and chirps. The only vocalizations were call signs to identify the group members.

“If I knew how to fight, Father, Mother would be alive.” Her voice held no anger, just determination.

The tribe she described had arrived a Moon ago, drawn by the area’s rich fruit trees, large ponds, lush grazing, and bluffs with a view as far as could be traveled in a day. No other area offered such a wealth of resources. The People’s scouts had seen these Others but allowed them to forage, not knowing their goal was to destroy the People.

Her father’s body raged but his hands, when they moved, were calm.  “We will avenge our losses, daughter.”

The next morning, Xhosa’s father ordered the hunters to stay behind, protect the People. He and the warriors snuck into the enemy camp before Sun awoke and slaughtered the females and children before anyone could launch a defense. The males were pinned to the ground with stakes driven through their thighs and hands. The People cut deep wounds into their bodies and left, the blood scent calling all scavengers.

When Xhosa asked if the one with the slashed cheek had died, her father motioned, “He escaped, alone. He will not survive.”

Word spread of the savagery and no one ever again attacked the People, not their camp, their warriors, or their hunters.

While peace prevailed, Xhosa grew into a powerful but odd-looking female.

Meet the author: 

jacqui-murray-2

 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, an Amazon Vine Voice,  and a columnist for NEA Today and TeachHUB. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

Connect with Jacqui at:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

  https://jacquimurray.net

https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

A Rising

a silhouette of a young person, with moon eclipsing the sun
pixabay image by Natan Vance

I have been lying low
I have been waiting,
Waiting for this moment
The right moment to leap out

It is now, I tell myself
‘Togetherness’ was the day –
“When they meet in wee hours,
Both the sources of light.”

Eerie silence encompassed me
As I struggled out,
I tried to run toward light
A pull seized me

Shackles entrenched my feet,
Shadows seemed to smother
My spirits, but they soared
Higher than the skyscrapers

All cries froze on my lips.
In the grip of an unseen power,
As if my bones were melting
Rays were piercing like needles

Igniting my power
Of swallowing the darkness,
I spread my arms
To gather the diminishing light

The threshold of new life smiled
I rise today
To shake off the darkness
That has eclipsed mankind.
© Balroop Singh. March, 2019

Inspired from D. Wallace Peach’s “Monthly Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt.” Please hop over to her blog to read more and get inspired.

Thank you Diana, for a thought-provoking  #WritingPrompt.

You can click here for more poetry.

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When I Visited the Roof of the World…

Leh – A Page From My Travel Diary

Snow covered mountains
The Himalayan range as seen from the room of Grand Dragon Ladakh

Leh – ‘the roof of the world’ is not just a spiritual town, interspersed with Buddhist monasteries and stupas but also an epitome of serenity, a quintessence of unparalleled unique beauty, which keeps changing with its mesmerizing views and seasons.

Any trip to India would be incomplete if you have not visited this desert of mountains. The hallmark of this place is its tranquility and simplicity, untouched and unexploited by commercial tourism. There is no mad race of fleecing the tourists like you may see at Srinagar or Manali.

It was a little unpopular due to lack of nightlife and poor digital connectivity but it is an extraordinary experience in itself. New luxury hotels (only a few) with all modern facilities and Wi-Fi have come up recently.DSC01886 2

When we visited in 2011, the only centrally heated hotel was The Grand Dragon at old Leh road, Sheynam. If you are not very fond of crowded places, if you like trekking, biking, mountaineering and rafting, you can find all these activities here to make your trip more memorable.

When we checked the best time to visit Leh, we were told that April to June is the peak season. We decided to visit in mid April to avoid the summer rush but we found very few tourists, which made our trip all the more enjoyable.

We didn’t have to wait on the roads, which is a common spectacle on narrow hill roads. When we landed at Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport, situated at the highest altitude in the world, the effect of winter could be seen all around in the form of bare trees and snow-clad Himalayan peaks, with no greenery around.

The landscape aroused a very distinctive feeling as if we had entered an absolutely new world of bare mountains. The view from our room was absolutely heavenly, with snowy mountains touching the horizon, a lower brownish range merging into the plains and few simple looking houses, which seemed sleepy!

A chilly breeze welcomed us in the morning as we stepped out to bask in the glorious sun, shining splendidly. Soaking in the sun, on the arid lawns of our hotel, we made the plans for the day, keeping in view the advice that we must get acclimatized to the high altitude before going further.

Road covered with snow
Enroute Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake was topmost on our list but it is 160 kms from Leh. As we were contemplating to order a taxi, another couple approached us and suggested that we could make this journey together. It appealed to us because we could split up the expenses and also have nice company for the day.

We decided that we would start early next morning as the journey to and fro would consume the whole day and nobody could stay at the height of 14,256 feet for the night. There are no hotels nearby to accommodate any tourists.

The journey by SUV cab was long, arduous but breathtaking. The snow had not melted and as we went uphill, cold kept creeping into our bones. As we travelled on the third highest motorable road in the world, covered with snow from all the four sides, we felt on top of the world.

The local driver knew exactly where to stop for refreshment and photography. Chang La Pass at the height of 17,585 feet was incredibly stunning with mounds of snow all around us. Indian army guards this pass as it is very close to China border and mythological Changla baba sits there to keep them warm and inspired.

Chang La Pass and temple at the height of 17,585 feet
Chang La Pass and temple at the height of 17,585 feet

Prayer flags could be seen all around Changla Baba temple. The stopover was very short, not more than 20 minutes due to high altitude, deficiency of oxygen, extreme cold and unpredictable weather.

This pass is the gateway to the Changthang Plateau and Pangong lake. The descent from this pass towards Darbuk is again very steep and the journey seems endless. Another amazing spectacle enroute Pangong Lake is a valley of rocks and boulders, formed by avalanches. You can’t see any greenery around though some pictures of late summer show it.

DSC01824
Standing on frozen Pangong Lake

At last we could see the magnificent lake, surrounded by bare hills of various hues of brown, black and golden. We were told that it is 134 km (83mi) long and extends into China. Almost 60% of this lake is actually in China. Alas we couldn’t see its deep blue color as shown in the pictures because it was completely frozen! We walked on it and took some memorable pictures.

DSC01818

Then was the time to start the long journey back and we came back extremely tired but in high spirits for exploring other parts of Leh next morning.

To be continued…

Have you visited such an amazing place?

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©Balroop Singh.

Forlorn

derbyshire-lambs-hawk-kestrel-crone-stone-tideswell-lillingstone-025
Sue Vincent’s #WritePhoto

I stand alone
Reminiscing my glorious past
I rot but the decay dawdles

Storms that I endured
Echo around me
Accentuating their power

Power that reeks
Of unaccomplished goals
Will they ever fathom the futility?

Shrouded by deafening silence
Of ruin and devastation, of
The land that nobody dares to tread

Dark moments cling to me
Even waters run deep
Avoiding the valley

Indifferent seasons secede
Wind forgets to sing here
Birds sit confounded

Clouds pass by
Intimidated by the water
Whose colors run deep red

Slime on the stones has subsided
Trees recede to reflect
Muted tones ask but

Only sky that envelops me
Can tell the story
Of my collapse, of your debacle.
© Balroop Singh, February 2019

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Timeless

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