What does success exactly mean? Some define it through objective standards that a person must meet to be called successful. On the other hand, many believe that the idea of success is subjective with no comparison, competition or compromises. The idea of success and failure is an integral part of our life, the reinforcement of which starts during our childhood. Due to this, life begins to seem like nothing but an unending competition.
Recently in an interview, actor and relaity television star Tanisha Mukerji opened up about her ‘failure’ on the screen. Despite being a star kid, Mukerji failed to replicate the silver screen success achieved by other women in her family, making her the odd one out in a starry line of of women actors.
Tanisha is the daughter of filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee and actor Tanuja. She is the younger sister of Kajol and the legendary Shobhna Samarth was her grandmother, while yesteryear actor Nutan was her aunt. Despite a hyped debut with the film Sssshhh… Tanisha’s career didn’t take off. Speaking about ‘what went wrong’ during a recent interview, she said, “You have to have a strong sense of who you are, and that person will come out on screen. Those are the people who will actually make it, those who have a strong sense of self. Maybe I didn’t make it, because I didn’t have that.”
Tanisha is often compared to her older sister Kajol in terms of achievements. And to this, Mukherjee had an on-point reply, “She had a different journey. We don’t compare each other. The comparison has been in the mind of the public. When you are a newcomer with privilege, they don’t get a chance to make too many mistakes. They don’t get a chance to learn on the job.”
The maturity with which Mukerji owned her mistakes is really inspiring. In our society, it is very difficult for people to be so forthcoming about not amassing wealth or popularity- two parameters that get to decide if you are successful in life or not. However, the wealth of experience and knowledge never get the same leverage.
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Meaning of success: Can there be one definition for all?
It is a common practice in our society to compare achievements of one person with another. Indian parents, for example, measure the success of their kids by comparing their achievements to those of other kids in their age group. Or by making them believe that an older sibling is their role model even though there is a wide difference in interest and passion.
Even my family believes that I cannot be successful until I touch the bar of taking care of my family financially. Most family members in my age group are engineers and since they have a bigger paycheck to show, they are deemed successful, while my achievements do not find as much appreciation.
But must everyone have the same ambitions in life? Do we all get the same opportunities, space and time to learn and evolve? Is it necessary to measure someone’s success by comparing them with others? Why don’t we accept that there are different standards and meanings of success? Infact, why do we even focus on success rather than achieving fulfilment in life?
We need to stop comparing people with each other to measure their success. Every person has a different niche and different requirements in life. A person can consider themselves successful by being able to earn enough to pay their own bills. A woman can be seen as successful if she is the CEO of her enterprise, or manages her household everyday, or juggles a job with her other duties. Doctors, engineers are indeed successful, but that doesn’t mean that teachers, boutique owners or writers need to be deemed as failures in life because of the profession they chose to pursue.
To sum it up, we give too much power to parameters like wealth, popularity, marks and placement over our lives. The biggest success of them all is recognising your own worth and potential and making peace with your life, valuing your experiences, rather than giving others the power to determine the relevance of your life.
Image Credit: DNA
Views expressed are the author’s own.