A Letter about Success


We found an old letter our father had typed out and sent to our sister when started studying History and Philosophy of Psychology.

So, you are now taking up “History and Philosophy of Psychology”. I hope you are enjoying it and finding it interesting.

You mentioned a phrase:
“Your motto in life should be to strive, to struggle instead of to succeed. Work that is well accomplished is the joy of life.

Parthsarathy has written this which is, of course, from the Gita.   Yes, on the first hand it looks heavy but after a careful analysis and understanding it may make it lighter and simpler.

In this phrase the word “Succeed” is the key word and one should try to understand this and its effects.

1. When you aim to succeed means you expect something to happen. When you expect or wish … you are limiting your potentiality to your expectations. Actually the potentiality can be greater than your wishes.

What is the basis of success? What is the criteria of success? When my parents were able to count up to 100 they were a successful lot in their period. When I was able to speak and write in English they thought that I had achieved great success. Successes/failures are based on certain criteria/standards which keep on changing as our ability improves. Potentiality will be unlimited of course.

2. We seem to have designed our own criteria and limits i.e. if one can obtain or reach certain limits created by us it would be a successful venture. For example in education when everybody manages 50% marks and you get 60%, you are successful. But if everyone gets 60% you will be successful only if you achieve 70%. What if everyone or most people get 100%? Well, the examiners will have to change their criteria.

In other cases people study some subjects but later in life end up in an entirely different area and still are said to be highly successful.

3. In life when one aims to succeed, the following may normally happen:
– if they do not succeed, they will be disappointed
– if they do not succeed, but see that other people have succeeded, they may become jealous and later on greedy
– if however, one is successful they may easily become proud or egocentric because one can only succeed if others have failed.

4. Another point is you can only produce what you have put in your brain/life but we tend to wish for/expect far better results than what we may have practised.

5. The Gita talks of a better human development and for this to happen your mind has to be under control and of a better quality. Qualities such as disappointment, jealousy, greed, pride and ego are not a good foundation to build upon or develop a better human life. These qualities are developed because we aim, expect, wish for certain things to happen, or some things must happen in our life.

6. What the phrase seems to say is:
– You try your best and hardest (according to your ability/input)
– Do not worry about succeeding (because you will be limiting your ability – which is subject to certain criteria)
– Finally, remain unaffected/unattached to whatever may be the outcome. (This is the highest stage of life i.e Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa level).


We thought to share this wisdom here on Father’s Day

5 thoughts on “A Letter about Success

  1. Reblogged this on SONYA KASSAM and commented:

    Hi everyone,

    I am reblogging this post A Letter About Success.

    It was a letter written by my father to my sister many, many years ago.

    We have recently started a blog for our parent sharing their thoughts, wisdom, memories, recipes and many other useful tips. Please do check it out and leave a comment for them 🙂

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

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