Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning in the Regime of Success 2

The problem is the way we define success. 

In our minds, an equation of success is somehow defined. Success, we believe, is the same as  achieving fame and material well-being. Neither of the pre-requisites of being successful are evil by any chance. The question that follows is: what will make you a success? The answer, however, is indefinite. 

Could following the life path of the successful people, doing exactly the things they did, lead us to success? It's doubtful when cooking the same recipe usually yields different results. 

However, there is one thing that we can try to inculcate from the lives of truly big-shots. To be hard-working, to concentrate on a chosen area, to be dedicated to it in spite of experiencing repeated road blocks. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Well, this simple potion can be administered to aim towards excellence. This 'success' is of a different kind however. It involves achieving the highest potential in the self . But, isn't that what the 'tiger' mother wants too? Yes, it is. But here we have a major shift in perspective . 

While  in the regime of the 'tiger' parent, discipline is imposed, in the regime of excellence, discipline is a way of living advocated by the self. 

In the regime of success, envisioned by the 'tiger' parent, the child is an object of the demands from the outside, and disciplining imposed by an other. In the regime of success directed at achieving excellence, the child is a subject in the vision s/he dreams for her/imself. 

Learning the art of disciplining the self is a necessary quality of living a worthwhile life. Learning to face the responsibility of a decision taken by the self is a pre-requisite of a meaningful life. Learning to encounter incompleteness and moving on after accepting it is the rare quality that you can bestow on someone in this battlefield called life. Instead of encouraging being a thinking individual, why are we then hell-bent on creating a batch of Agent Smith-s in the matrix of our lives?

Or, do we think like Mimi and Eunice ?

Are we ready for the unlearning needed to successfully achieve excellence?

 Mimi and Eunice cartoon by Nina Paley