3 Steps to Discover What Success Means to You and Achieve It

How this father-son duo changed my view about success

 

25 years ago…

 

My son, Mohit, was diagnosed with autism.

 

At that time, if I was asked, “What does success mean to you?”, I would have said, “recovery from autism.”

 

If Mohit could go to school like every other child, speak and behave normally, it would be definite success.

 

10 years ago…

 

I realized ‘normal’ is relative.

 

Success is about achieving a good quality of life. It’s much more than doing well at school or talking like everyone else.

 

If a person can develop dynamic intelligence to live independently, have a meaningful career and enjoy a few good relationships in life – that’s success.

 

It’s something we all aspire for.

 

Last week…

 

A little boy and his father made me question all my beliefs.

 

I saw them interacting happily together, in a video. They sorted balls and blocks in different baskets. But it wasn’t about sorting at all.

 

Sorting was just an excuse to engage and connect with each other. They laughed and had fun. Happy smiles and high fives permeated the atmosphere.

 

Suddenly a silence descended.

 

It was a seizure. Dev came back with a gasp. His dad looked at him and said “you’re fine now?”. Dev nodded. And they continued to bond.

 

The laughter, joy and high fives permeated the space again. I was amazed at the recovery time. Both father and son looked like nothing happened.

 

This episode repeated itself twice in the 10-minute video clip.

 

Dev experiences seizures like this 15-20 times a day. It shook me to the core. I know the pain. Mohit has seizures as well. They drain me out completely! I feel shattered to see him go through it. I mope around for a day or two before recovering completely.

 

But Ashish, Dev’s dad, recovered in a moment. Life touched me differently that day.

 

success-with-autism-quotes

 

Success isn’t about what you achieve. Its about how you handle challenges life throws at you.

 

It’s not about never falling. It’s about rising every time you fall.

 

It’s not about the environment. It’s about the resolve in the depths of your life.

 

I had been stuck at this point of this article for a few days.
 

That morning I asked myself, “What do you want to say Kamini? Why are you stuck?”

 

The answer came when I least expected it.

 

“It’s not about what you want to say. It’s about what you need to do.”

 

I glanced across at Angel, my beautiful dog. I heard her laborious breathing.

 

She was in the last lap of her life. Her kidneys had failed and she couldn’t move. She had stopped eating and drinking. We managed to get a few spoonfuls of water down every couple of hours.

 

It was agonizing and heart breaking to watch her like that. I had been moping around for the past week.

 

Then I thought about Dev and Ashish. What did they teach me?

 

Rise above the pain.

 

Yes, feel it and choose to rise above it. In the moment, I had a choice. Should I wallow in the pain and continue to feel terrible about Angel? Or should I be grateful for the wonderful 15 years spent together?

 

Could I recount the joy and love she brought into my life? Could I encourage her with my own high life condition?

 

I chose to be strong and happy for Angel. She passed away soon after.

 

How can we get to this stage of rising each time we fall?

 

1. Practice Gratitude

 

Things could have been worse.

 

We woke up fine this morning. That itself is worth being grateful for.

 

I sit in the cool comfort of my study room, typing this article. I look out to see the majestic Arabian Sea. I soak in the calmness and tranquility of the morning.

 

I’m grateful.

 

Things could have been a lot worse for Mohit too. It’s never been a cakewalk. So far, I’ve handled my difficulties well. And I feel blessed to have Mohit in my life.

 
how-to-be-grateful
 
What are you grateful for? Get into the practice of starting your day with gratitude.

 

2. Complain Achieves Nothing

 

We all go through our ups and downs.

 

Things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Is that reason enough to complain?

 

My mentor, Dr Daisaku Ikeda says, ‘Complaining wipes out good fortune.’

 

The next time I feel like grumbling and complaining about how bad my day is, I will pause and remind myself to not complain.

 

What about you?

 

3. Be Fully Present

 

The mind is like a monkey.

 

It jumps from one situation to another. We’re constantly thinking of the past or the future. This video shifted something deep within me.

 

 

As Oprah says: It’s always this one step. You give it your fullest attention. The step that you’re taking now is primary. The destination is secondary.

 

Dear Friend, be grateful for your child. If you accept her/him exactly the way s/he is – your life will open up.

 

Do not complain. Instead choose to see the good.

 

Live each moment fully and be present with your child.

 

Success lies in this present moment, in the journey- not the destination. I’ve decided to follow this each and every day.

 

I want to live my life fully, based on this. Will you join me?

 

P.S. If you would like us at SAI Connections help you achieve success for your child and family, you can get in touch with us here.

 

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