Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” ―

                                 Abraham Lincoln

Success is a journey and not a destination. In fact, there is no straight jacket formula for success. Though somebody may inspire us, but to be successful, we must tread our own path.

Abraham Lincoln in fact is a bundle of failures before he ascended the presidency of the United States.

- Lost job, 1832
- Defeated for legislature, 1832
- Failed in business, 1833
- Sweetheart (Ann Rutledge) died, 1835

- Had nervous breakdown, 1836
- Defeated for Speaker, 1838
- Defeated for nomination for Congress, 1843
- Lost renomination, 1848
- Rejected for Land Officer, 1849
- Defeated for Senate, 1854
- Defeated for nomination for Vice-President, 1856
- Again defeated for Senate, 1858
- Elected President, 1860

To attain success, there is no requirement of formal education or you need to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth. What we need is a burning zeal to excel in your area of interest. In fact those who learn from their experiences are, on much better footing.

Anthony Robbins, America's most admired Personality Development guru defines "Success is truly the result of good judgment; good judgement is the result of experience; and experience is often the result of bad judgement. "

Most people wrongly connote success with wealth/ material possessions. But in the course of journey, money could be only one of the byproducts, but not the end product. Andrew Carnegie, the 19th Century American Steel magnate says that "The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else which he is entitled. " He further added that " The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world will take off its hat to those who put in more than 50 % of their capacity and the world will stand on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

In fact, success can be attained in any branch of labour. Andrew Carnegie started his life as a factory worker but rose to the pinnacle of success due to his sheer concentration of his energies on the goal he sets himself. He says that "your thoughts are your capital".

Success means aim for the highest. Late Steve Jobs, the iconic Apple Inc. CEO is a college dropout, but reached to the top of ladder of success by creating the world's most valued company.

Jobs whose iPhone and iPad created flutters sagely advise that "Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. "

Napoleon Hill who wrote "The Law of Success” in 1928 revolutionized the way people thought about creating wealth, self-improvement and achieving goals. He spent 20 years by interviewing over 100 most successful people in America and found the following 15 characteristic traits for Success:-

1. Golden Rule : Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
2. Tolerance.
3. Profitting by failure.
4. Cooperation
5. Concentration
6. Accurate thinking
7. Pleasing personality
8. Habit of doing more than Paid For
9. Self Control
10. Enthusiasm
11. Imagination
12. Initiative & Leadership
13. Habit of saving
14. Self Confidence
15. Definite Chief Aim

So the subtle lesson is: Material goals are not the end of road. Beyond that there is something richer which Abraham Maslow termed as "Self Actualization". So everybody must strive to reach to that arena and be closer to the Reality.


Ralph Waldo Emerson says that “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.

Every human being is potentially unique in his or her way of doing things coupled with abilities and capabilities specifically endowed by the Almighty. What we have to do is make everything and everyone as a learning experience. With this mindset, I try to learn something from everybody and never feel ashamed of, because the great people already disowned what they knew.

Some people create a fire in the belly to explore your hidden potentialities. They silently do their part without grabbing much attention. Appreciating the finest things or finest people will only add something fine in your life. So, one should not be skeptic about this.

Here is a man who literally gave an ignition to me to write. He encouraged me to share my expertise and experience.  Initially, I took his words in a lighter vein, but his continuous push somewhat brought a kind of energy to spread my wings.

I heard about him through a colleague. He is so generous in sharing his personal knowledge. First I spoke to him through a common friend, and thank God I got a guy who is in close resemblance to my mind-set and a burning zeal to excel in personal growth.

K. Mahabub Ali who has Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Human Resources is a man more than qualified to the job for which he was appointed in Government service. The atmosphere of aTraining Institute, where he worked hard, helped him to quickly accrue additional qualifications in his area of interest which include psychological counselling, journalism, Masters in English. His expertise on wide array of subjects contributed to writing articles in newspapers and magazines. Moreover, his valuable insights on HR issues are sought by prominent newspapers.

His empathy towards the problems of others and lending a helping hand to others is worth appreciable. A discerning man, wonderful at heart ,he lifts the spirits of demoralized to put them back on rails. A self-propelling, energetic, Mr. Ali constantly strives better in life. He is truly a fountain of immense possibilities. I learnt a lot from him and what inspired from him is the concept of 'Strokes'.

Hope his beaming wisdom helps all needy in the world.


Recently I was crippled with the sudden death of my aunt who died accidentally when the horse carrying her slipped into the valley when her family was on a pilgrimage to famous Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhund. The manner of death really shocked me and threw me out of gear for some weeks. After limping back to normalcy, I turned more spiritual. The incident had taken me to a new level of wisdom about uncertainty of life. I felt the so called predicting business about future is nothing but a farce. What lies ahead of next moment is flatly unpredictable.

Deepak Chopra says that the Prince of Death is just behind you all the time.   He says that the only difference is method of execution and length of reprieve.

In spirituality, death is not given much credence. We see many people who are perturbed to amass wealth in the name of security. To grab the world of possessions they stop enjoying life of present moment and adopt to whatever means they find shortest and loose moral compass.

One great person sagely said that " live the life everyday as if it is your last day". In such a living,  you reap the benefits of distilled wisdom of our enlightened masters. We need not frighten about death when it is an inescapable event of life. What we have to educate ourselves is to rise above beasty existence and fine-tune all the faculties endowed by the Almighty.

Why the Spiritual Gurus shot into fame is not due to the fact that they preach well but they stand by their teachings as living examples.  What common people generally perceive is that spirituality is for older people is squarely wrong. Spirituality means realizing our potential. What we need is perseverance and overcome the procrastination. We should not riddle our minds with too many dogmas. Sky is the only limit for human endeavour. All great personalities who lived on this planet have taught this great lesson.

Steve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple Computers who died due to pancreatic cancer is so pragmatic in his ideology. “In his famous 2005 Stanford University speech, he says that “ When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

On death, jobs says that “ remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

He further says that “no one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

About life, Jobs says that “your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

So don’t fear from death which you can't escape!


No doubt the image of India, after unearthing of 2G Spectrum scam, has severely dented  and put us in total ignominy. However, we need to put a brave front to tackle the menace of corruption. Anna Hazare through his recent massive protest programme with youngsters as his foot soldiers almost shook the Establishment and our political masters appeared to have come to terms with the new reality and hope blossoms for brighter days ahead.

One reason why America stood as the world leader is its uncompromising patriotism and people feel pride of their country. Over and above, their confidence to stand tall in all human endeavor made them the front-runners in all facets of human activity.

What we are lacking is that kind of patriotism the US has, and we need to hone all those skills/ qualities. We need to glorify our past, especially the freedom struggle and the manner in which our great leaders contributed to get independence. In fact, patriotism is a daily dose of capsule that needs to be administered to every Indian to remind the sacrifice of countless people at the altar of freedom struggle. By envisioning their greatness on consistent basis, we can keep the flame of patriotism flickering.

The old mindset of people that their individual participation in the democracy makes little difference should be changed. This impasse is more prevalent in the educated urban middle class who are not willing to cast even their vote. What they think is that the politics is only for a privileged few. Unless and until this attitude is changed, we cannot make rapid strides.  Democracy is not a spectator sport but a participating sport, hence people’s involvement is inevitable. Right from casting  votes to gauging the performance of elected representatives to pulling out the laggards/ corrupt elements when they fail to deliver, people should play crucial role.

Another area we need attention is grooming the children in a right atmosphere to fill their minds with a zeal to learn new things in life which will give wonderment at every step of their life. Exposing them to too much gadgetry will wipe out their creative abilities and they grow up more like insensitive beasts unconcerned to the societal needs. The parents should play an active role in carving out the future of their children by inculcating right values so that they graduate as responsible citizens. In the process of upbringing, the parents should stand as living examples before their children as simply preaching and teaching will not work.

The whole education system needs to be built on the lines where the health aspects should be predominant in the syllabi so that there is no conflict between what they are taught and what they live. There is no magic wand for India to turn all malady-free overnight. A consistent value system should be embedded in the collective psyche of people so that the stated objectives could be achieved to make India as a world leader.


The Anna Hazare led public protest on the issue of corruption has still not faded from my memory.   What was started as a protest programme turned into mass hysteria as it got a tsunami of support, especially from educated young.     The cause for which Anna stood is absolutely necessary in today's turbulent times.     Corruption does not simply mean indulging in financial irregularities or siphoning money or showing favoritism or violation of law.    Failure to give even better service i.e. what the Anna Team coined as Public Charter also amounts to failure to public service.

The whole issue here is service oriented mind which I  think in Govt. Sector is severely lacking.

Let me go into detail of what happened to me the other day.  I returned empty handed from my bank's ATM.  (SBI, Masjid Mor, New Delhi)   as the machine was in switch off mode.  Later on, the next day, being 1st of the month (1st Oct. 2011),  I went to my bank's another ATM at SBI, South Ext. 2, New Delhi  where two ATM machines stood shamelessly begging pardon for unservice.   Being a market hub, so many people like me came and had gone with fumes of anger.

 Considering my experience earlier, I suspected  that the bank people might be trying to evade from their responsibility of filling  the machines with cash on demand basis.   God only knows whether or not  they are  doing deliberately .    It is anybody's guess that the ATM machines need to be filled with cash atleast on the month's beginning day to cater the customers needs.

I am an unlucky fellow who burnt my pocket last month not due to my  fault   but due to the careless functioning of ATM of  my bank.  Sadly,  all my cash drawl transactions happened from private bank ATMs leaving my account debited with service charges as I  surpassed the mandatory 5 transactions of the  month.   This is the plight of a customer ( like me)  in a metropolitan city which is also boasted as country's capital i.e. New Delhi.

Out of fury, I ask bank people these questions : Why do you allow the things so rotten up ?   Why you are ducking laggards as your functionaries ?  Are you really service oriented ?  See these things will never happen in private banks ATMs.  In what way you are different from them and why such apathy  ???

I have one suggestion to the SBI (my bank).    Improve the accountability with regard to Personal Banking.  Give a world class service  or shut down.

I was quite embarrassed on one occasion when the manager of the bank tried to deny me withdrawal from my Public Provident Fund Account.   He tried to show up to me as if he was giving loan to me.   When I yelled at him,  he conceded my demand.

These are not the isolated incidents.   Out of  frustration, I am writing   these lines to lighten my heart.  Hope some change will happen as public will no longer sit as silent spectators.    When  banks can not give service which they suppose to do, better for them to wind up their  business and give the opportunity to others who have a  heart to do a decent job.  May the top bosses are quite good, but middle level managers should be pulled up to ensure that the service delivery is not neglected.

One idea to overcome such problems !    Since the ATMs and banks are operationally merged technically and come under one umbrella with regard to cash drawals of inter-bank customers, RBI may buy the idea of appointing one nodal agency responsible for   cash fill-in   in ATMs in cities/ town /villages so that dedicated teams can take care  of things more coherently and help to provide a better service to customers.  Further   the Heads of Banks should connect to customers through social networking sites to listen to their agonies for quick redressal.

Service delivery is key to bank’s functioning.   Technology has already brought a sea change in services, but human attention is equally essential to make it workable, otherwise bad service may snowball  into major revolt from customers.