Delving into the Intangibles


   Success  
     
 

Age is irrelevant to success. A baby hardly able to crawl will try and try again to stand up, despite falling down many times. The elderly attend PC classes, striving to master Internet communication. Examples are legion. Success also is not limited to high-stakes matters. We experience success every day, although we may fail to notice because we did not consciously adopt the “three-step”approach of setting a goal, taking action, and making effort.

Everyone possesses the essential means for success. Only 10% of the necessary criteria derive from one’s education, social environment, et cetera. The remaining 90% depend on individual spirit and ability to overcome difficulties. Motivation and patience are the key elements: they define the spirit that strives hard to achieve a goal through perseverance and tenacity. If you give up, the energy necessary for success is instantly cut off. I think you can now appreciate there is no secret or special skill with regard to success.

No matter how small the effort required, and regardless of age, you can experience success––a baby, a child, or the elderly––as long as you grasp this point and keep applying energy correctly, never surrendering to frustration. Especially in children and young people, who have more opportunities to try different things, the spirit to challenge can be cultivated, leading to greater personal confidence.

Success spreads out like a wave to families, organizations, society, the material world, and other human beings. By dividing it into its tangible and intangible aspects we can better understand "the pure taste of success," which you will be eager to experience.

Tangible success is measured in comparative terms: fortunes amassed, reputations acquired, businesses established, praise, prizes, or applause gained, tests passed, and competitions won. On the other hand, intangible success is an unseen, subjective pleasure. I am speaking about that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction only the individual can feel as a result of challenging and meeting his or her personal goals.

What prevents success?

1. You have no concrete vision.
2. You are wasting energy aimlessly.
3. You have negative emotions believing you “can’t do it anyway.”
4. You are over optimistic and assume it will “come out right in the end.”
5. You are too hasty, seeking rapid results.
6. You care too much about other people’s comments and evaluations.
7. You lack stamina of both body and mind.
8. You lack patience and staying power.

There are many things you can obtain from success: riches, prosperity, applause, fame, satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, et cetera. Success can be a source of wonderful intangible power that spreads out through all humanity.

On the other hand, if you are not careful, you may fail as a result of jealousy, silent opposition, criticism, or outright attack. There are many things you have to guard against. Just because you have succeeded once, it is important not to press your luck and become cocky. Success often cannot be achieved alone but is the result of cooperation with others. Please don’t forget this.

I feel sad when I recall the life of the “diva” Maria Callas, one of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century; sad, despite the fact that this Greek-American soprano achieved unprecedented success in the opera world, overcoming all kinds of hardships by her tremendous efforts.

Her conniving mother falsely accused her of being undutiful; her first husband Giovanni Meneghini gathered in her box-office revenues and fame; the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis took advantage of her and then dumped her; the impresario Eddie Bagarozy turned against her; and the director of La Scala in Milan, Antonio Ghiringhelli, took an irrational dislike to her. I think no one has experienced the dark side of success like Maria Callas.

Callas died a somewhat mysterious death alone at her home in Paris in 1977.

She was 53 years old––having experienced all the yin yang of success.

If you wish to discover more about success, both the tangible and intangible sides, please look out for the “Basic course special” scheduled to be posted soon. I hope it will be a useful reference for you.

 
                                                        K.Yamakawa