Did You Just Throw Away Success?

By · July 6, 2009 · Filed in Awareness

You might have heard someone tell another that they just “threw away their chance for success”. Have you ever contemplated if this is truly possible? Can someone ever throw away their chance for success? The simple answer is no, but you can definitely waste a good situation.

In most circumstances you can never throw away your chances completely, but you always run the risk of hindering your path and taking the long way to the achievement of your goals. No one wants to handcuff their own future, so how do you ensure your chance for success stays close by your side?

By knowing what success looks like… How do you measure success? How do you know if you are winning in the game of life if you don’t know what winning looks like? How would you be able to spot success if you saw it coming down the road? How do you know that you aren’t successful already?

We often keep our eye towards the horizon of tomorrows achievement while neglecting to celebrate the victories that lead us to where we are today. Not recognizing a good thing when you see it can be a very costly mistake, especially in the case of a loved one or valuable employee.

An old Indian fable told by a good friend of mine illustrates the risk we run by being impatient…

Once a man did a lot of penance and God appeared to him. He asked for infinite wealth and power. God smiled, and granted his wish but with a small rider. He told him that he would have to go to the banks of Narmada river at a certain point where the small spherical stones are strewn about.

God told him that amongst those stones he would find a ‘Parasmani’ – the philosopher’s stone, that can turn metal into gold. The man was overjoyed. He asked God how would he recognize the Parasmani from amongst the millions of identical stones lying on the banks of the river.

God told him that this stone would be slightly warmer to touch than the others and disappeared. Now, this man excitedly went to the indicated spot and was flabbergasted on seeing the multitude of identical stones there. They were all similar looking.

Initially he made piles of the stones that he had checked for the warmth. But he found this to be a futile exercise after a few days, so he decided to start throwing the stones away from the banks, far into the river, after he checked them.

Days passed, weeks passed, months passed. This man kept picking up stones and throwing them into the river. People called him the mad stone-thrower. Years passed and the man kept doing what had become his practice. His actions were practiced until they had become automatic and unconscious.

Suddenly one day he picked up a stone which was slightly warmer than the rest, but before he realized what he had got he had already chucked it into the river! Sometimes our practices become so reactive in the moment that we lose sight of the end-goal.

This is force of habit which stops us from choosing in every moment how we can design our future. There is choice but our hand has already moved and thrown the stone. Habits can be changed. Be patient with your progress! What must you commit to learning, changing or doing in order to be successful today?

Have you stopped to smell the sweet aroma of achievement lately? Have you oriented yourself carefully around your goals so that you know when to celebrate success? It is important to place your vision on the end result so that you know exactly when you arrive there.

The wise believe that the past is destiny and the future can be designed. We can choose at every moment, what we want from our future. Knowledge is power when you realize that there are options. True power comes from the wisdom your receive when you consciously exercise your choice.

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