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Three aspects of success

Chanakya’s three aspects of success

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Forget the highly competitive corporate world, today even children studying in schools and colleges want success. So do folks in their own homes and societies.

Workshops and seminars are conducted on how to be successful. Entire organisations spend huge amounts of time, money, efforts, and energy in becoming successful, and making their teams successful.

But what exactly is success? And how does one really become successful?

Well, success is relative.

The parameters for success change from person to person. However, when we study the lives of successful people, we come across some core areas and patterns on the basis of which they succeeded. These will help each of us to succeed too.

Even our own Indian hero, Chanakya, had gone deep into the subject of success.

He said, “Success is three fold—that attainable by the power of counsel is success by counsel, that attainable by the power of might is success by might, that attainable by the power of energy is success by energy.” (6.2.34)

Let us look at each of these separately:

Success by counsel

Every person needs an advisor. Better the advisor, the better are the chances to succeed. In fact, one should aim at having the best advisor all the time.

Chanakya, in another chapter of Arthashastra, had said that, “Any undertaking that one takes should be done with the help of advisors who are a specialist in that particular field.”

If you ever have a choice between a mediocre teacher who charges less, and the best teacher who charges more, go for the second option. You would, thus, minimise possible risks and also reach the goal faster.

“It requires a stroke of genius to awaken the mass consciousness. In any given century, only a few can do that!”


Success by might

Muscle power is a strength too. But might also means what one derives from his position, or the chair that one holds.

A mighty person can take many quick decisions based on his authority and his execution capacity. Apart from holding such a high and responsible position, another way for becoming mighty is to associate with someone mightier than oneself.

Success by energy

This is called will power. A person can get success on the basis of the enthusiasm and the passion shown.

A highly inspired and energetic person is very contagious. Anyone who comes around such a person also feels charged. Great leaders had this power. They were the ones that could mesmerise masses with their oratory skills. Such energetic persons could also make the most lethargic person productive.

This is akin to what Napoleon once said: “It requires a stroke of genius to awaken the mass consciousness. In any given century, only a few can do that!”

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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