Literature would always be my favourite subject in school — not only because I’d get to know about the landscape, mindset and the psyche of different authors, writers and philosophers from different genres, but the concept of “stoicism” particularly piqued my interest.
Stoicism or being stoic is a concept where an individual treats pleasure and pain with the same dignity. Even though in my earlier days, I’d be quite sceptical about the fact that such a person really exists in life, but later when I was introduced to characters like Marcus Brutus from Julius Caesar, I was convinced that such people are actually present in real life.
Even though the texts we were taught were partly fictional, and were often a figment of the author’s imagination, yet characters like these would leave me mesmerised. I’d often wonder how such unbiased people could exist in reality? Years later, when I do read something similar, and turn towards religious scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita, I find that Shree Krishna refers to a person that holds these qualities to be his favourite.
That would be an awe striking episode all over again. During this time, when I was still pondering whether all of this at all feasible and if there was a similarity between Brutus and Shree Krishna, I came across this best selling novel called “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl where he mentions something similar about success in his preface.
He says that he always tells his students that one must never take success very seriously, not crave for it, and wait for it to happen, for people to call him truly “successful”. Instead, it must be a continuous process. Why, rather how so, one might ask.
The author says that one must strive continuously to reach the stage of perfection, and be consistent in his efforts. This will lead him to be perfect in his life and gradually there will come a time when his perfection would lead him to success without even him realising it. He believes that this path would be one that’ll lead him to believe in himself and there will be no turning back for him.
Such a person would lose interest in chasing success, perhaps it’ll be the other way round where success itself would chase him.