The epic of Mahabharata has a lot of invaluable lessons to learn from and enhance our lives if we choose to. This small incident on the battleground is worth taking into account and to think about, especially how timeless law of success it reveals:

On the 13th night during the battle of Mahabharata, Arjuna vows to kill Jayadratha before the sunset on the next day as a revenge for the despicable acts of killing his son Abhimanyu. Arjuna vowed also to commit self-immolation if failed to fulfill his vow to Jayadratha

Both the camps (Kauravas and Pandavas) became restless for rest of the night with this new turning point on the battleground Arjuna had created with his vow. Nobody could sleep wondering what’s going to happen tomorrow…

The man in danger, Jayadratha was panic-stricken. Restless, worried about his fate, not able to decide the next course of action went to Guru Dronacharya for guidance. Among other things, he asked one question that is very remarkable and relevant even today.

He asked, “Arjuna and I, both are your students. You gave the same education to all of us. We all grew up together, learnt the same things and graduated together. But, then why is Arjun the No #1 archer in the world?” Jayadratha continued in worry, “ Why am I so vulnerable in front of him that my death tomorrow is certain if he finds me in the battleground tomorrow?”

And… the answer by the teacher revealed the secret of success! Guru Dronacharya said addressing the king of Sindhu, “It is true that Arjun and you, both got the same education. In fact, I gave the same education to all others along with you both and I did not do any partiality in my teachings. It is also true that you all graduated together and you all had similar level of knowledge when you left the Ashram. But… the difference began after you all graduated!”

Guru Dronacharya continued, “While you became satisfied with the knowledge you received in the Ashram and became complacent with what you had, Arjuna made that same knowledge, a foundation for the greatness he had to achieve. His pursuit of knowledge continued and he kept accumulating new knowledge, new skills wherever he could, whenever he could! He grabbed every opportunity to learn one more new thing. That is the reason; he is who he is today! That’s exactly why, not only you, even I am worried about your life tomorrow…”

How eternal and applicable is that simple truth even today. The Knowledge has always been the power and in today’s highly competitive era, it’s importance is even more evident!

Most people assume their education was completed when they graduated, become complacent with the knowledge received and expect the world to rollover and give them everything they need to be happy! They don’t read a book in their entire life after graduating from school/college and lead a mediocre life.

On the other hand, successful people understand the reality. Their quest for knowledge never stops because they know; knowledge is the reason why they are successful. What separates successful people from others is their quest to continually learn.

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Everyone is worthy of respect as an individual. Every person is a human being created in the image of God with a purpose and place in life. If we operate by this standard, we dignify other human beings by treating them as we ourselves wish to be treated. Isn’t that the Golden Rule all about?

 If we do not operate by this standard, we demean and dismiss others according to our own prejudices.

 What goes around comes around. In other words, if we want to be respected, we must respect others. If we don’t give respect, we won’t get it either. Respect is not something that is to be demanded, it must be earned.

I read these following lines that touched my soul and made me realize how we take few people in our lives for granted… These few lines changed the way I think of the people I have been blessed with and the way I treat them.

I decided to share with my all friends, these few lines and hope it would touch your heart as well:

  Think of all the people with whom you come into regular contact – family, friends, customers, clients, colleagues. They all touch your life in some unique or special way. How many of these people know that you respect them for what they do and who they are? You may admire them, but have you said so? Tell them. Show them. Give them the respect they deserve. Make your respect for them tangible. It’s what makes the world go around.

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  Many times we hear (or it occurs in our own mind), “I don’t get any respect” or “Nobody seems to respect what I do (for them)”… etc… Some people relate respect to how much money they make as opposed to somebody else or how much recognition or media attention they get…

  I read this story where the author, so beautifully showed how the respect really begins from within and not from outside. Here is the story…

  Too often we judge people by their vocations, overlooking their competence and their unique and essential gifts. The “ordinary” folks are the backbone of every nation. They are the men and women who get the job done. They are the unsung, salt-of-the-earth heroes of society. I met such a man one summer when my family and I were staying at a vacation cottage.

This fellow was the garbage collector in that area and he was the best at his job I’d ever seen. The man showed up once a week precisely at 6:30 in the morning, moved among the cottages, didn’t make any noise, lifted every trash can with an effortless grace he could, emptied the garbage into the truck and returned the can to the side of the road. He worked quietly and discreetly, a meticulous man who made a physically demanding job look easy.

  One morning I went out to greet him when he arrived and said, “You are doing a great job”

  “Are you just getting home or just leaving?” he asked. I guess he couldn’t imagine that anyone would get out of bed to just pay him a compliment.

  “Neither,” I said. “I came out to tell you that I really appreciate the good job you’re doing.”

  As I said that, he gave me a big smile. Then he told me that in his twelve years of hauling garbage, no one had ever said a kind word to him including his boss.

 Come to think of it…

That garbage collector had done a fine job for twelve years, with dignity, without ever hearing a word of encouragement or thanks.

That man had self-respect!

Respect begins with how we feel about ourselves, not what others think or say about us. Respect begins with knowing who you are, loving yourself and accepting yourself. When we do this, we can be respectful to others and show them respect…

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When Victor Seribriakoff was fifteen, his teacher told him he would never finish school and that he should drop out and learn some trade. Victor took the advice and for the next 17 years he was an itinerant doing a variety of jobs. He had been told he was a ‘dunce’, and for 17 years he acted like one. An amazing transformation happen when he was at the age of 32 when an evaluation revealed that he was a genius with an IQ of 161.

Guess what? That’s right, he started acting like a genius. Since that time he has written books, secured a number of patents and became a successful businessman. Perhaps the most significant event for the former school dropout was his election as chairman of the International Mensa Society. The Mensa Society has only one membership qualification, a minimum IQ of 140.

The story of Victor Seribriakoff makes us wonder how many geniuses we have wandering around acting like dunces just because someone told them they weren’t too bright. Obviously, Victor did not suddenly acquire a tremendous amount of additional knowledge, but he did suddenly acquire a tremendous amount of added confidence the moment he knew about his IQ. The result was he instantly became more effective and more productive. When he saw himself differently, his self-image suddenly jumped up and he started acting differently. He now started expecting and so getting success.

Is self-image important? Authors in book “Born to Win” point out that man was born to win, but throughout a lifetime, as a result of our negative society, he is conditioned to lose. They stress that a healthy self-image is critical in the success parade.

The starting point for both success and happiness is a healthy self-image. An individual’s self-image is the core of his/her personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change, the choice of friends, mates and careers. Strong self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life!

Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker and book author says in his book: Healthy self image is different from super inflated “I am the greatest” ego. Of diseases known to man, conceit is the weirdest of them all. It makes everyone sick except the one who has it. In fact the individual with a bad case of “I” trouble is really suffering from an extremely poor self-image.

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A top recruitment firm believed that people lack self image and they are afraid of rejections. They believed that low self image is the reason why there is shortage of top management applicants in market.

To prove this point, they ran a newspaper ad in four major job markets – Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Chicago. Each ad appeared in different sections of the classifieds, had no real description of the position. The ad only had a salary and a phone number to call for details. The ad ran for a week.

The first ad looked like this:


$30,000 PER YEAR

CALL (000) 555-5555

Here is the second ad:


$300,000 PER YEAR

CALL (000) 222-2222

The tally was done at the end of the week. Te response for the $30,000 job ad was so much high, that extra operators were put on duty to handle the call volume. Thousands of people had called for more information literally.

Now, when they tallied the total call volume for the $300,000 job ad, they were equally amazed. All cities combined for one week, when tallied, only FIVE people had called for more details about this position!

May be most people who saw the second ad but did not think they would qualify for such a high paying job. But how could they know that if they did not call? Low self image and fear of rejection stopped most people from calling for a higher paying job.

The sad fact is, most people don’t go for what they really want in a career. They think of their current capabilities and drop down a notch, interviewing for jobs that require less than their true ability. Because of the fear that they may fail, we set a lower standard in attempt to reduce the risk of failing. Even though the lowering of the standard doesn’t necessarily guarantee the success, but people feel comfortable being that way.

Napoleon Hill said in his classic book “Think and Grow Rich”, “What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve”. Our minds will only come up with the ideas and dreams that we can accomplish.

However, if we don’t believe we can, we won’t even attempt for it and then, there is no possibility for accomplishment.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams     – Eleanor Rossevelt

There was a man who lived every day with one dominant dream – to become an actor.

Undaunted, his dream drew him to write his own script and write his role in the movie. He now began looking for a producer. He went from agent to agent, studio to studio; but no matter what he did, nothing happened. He was turned down over a thousand times!

Even if he had have given up here, most people would have still called him courageous because he kept searching for opportunity in spite of all the rejections. But, that’s not where this story ends.

Finally, somebody liked his script. He was flat broke and the producer offered him $100,000 to buyout his script because they didn’t think he was appropriate candidate for the role he wanted to play in the story! His dream was big, he turned down the offer.

He kept searching until he found exactly what he wanted; he eventually starred in the movie he wrote and won an Oscar. It was then followed by four sequels! For holding onto his dream even in the times of trouble and turning down the initial $100,000 buyout offer, he now gets several million dollars per picture.

What would have happened if Sylvester Stallone had let his dream die when things were not going in his favor? Nobody would have ever known who “Rocky” was !

Every lasting success involves overcoming rejection. Submitting to fear and avoiding rejection takes away our freedom to dream.

Many of us keep working at the jobs we hate for the same exact fear of failure even if we have dream to achieve something bigger and better. Most of us are so comfortable working in the same rut doing same thing for money for years that anything new makes us uncomfortable and threatens us! We are very comfortable being part of the crowd, remain comfortable and stay in the rut for rest of our lives.

Fear of failure stops many people from doing anything new. As a matter of fact, if you are not preparing to be successful, you are preparing to be a failure anyway!

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Fitness people use this phrase, “No Pain, No Gain” often almost as mantra. It has been found that when we push our body beyond its comfort limits, there will be some temporary pain, but that is how body gains toughness, strength or growth. If we aren’t experiencing some discomfort, we are not going to realize any growth.

Mentally we need to do the same thing. To develop ourselves as people, we need to experience some discomfort. We need to go through some emotional pain, discomfort, distractions on the journey, but these will prove to be temporary if we don’t quit and keep the focus on the goal.

If you are working out to prepare for an athletic competition and you feel pain, would you automatically quit? No! You would probably take a break to heal to prevent further injury and then get right back to regular schedule and make some adjustments in your routine to prevent the same injury from happening again. Likewise, we sometimes need to take a mental step back and make some adjustments in our thinking as well when we face temporary setbacks on the path to attain our goals and dreams.

The life itself is our own competition. Yet many times people get discouraged and quit doing what they believed in once when they felt discomfort in doing it in initial few attempts. The distractions, rejections, discomforts do cause emotional pain, but they are temporary just like physical pain. They would go away and with little adjustments in the way we conduct ourselves will prevent the same thing from happening again.

It is better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. If we just believe in our dreams and we are willing to fail but not be a failure, no distraction, no rejection, no challenge can come on our way. Success principles are same in all walks of life and success means that you get up one more time than you fall down.

“Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing until you get there.” – Josh Billings

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