Friday, 15 March 2013

Life is a positive pursuit of excellence


What is life?
Is it birth and death or the span of time between birth and death? Is it spending the life time minute by minute, measuring time by coffee spoons? Is it a dull boring business of ‘pulling along’? Is it a mere existence as the existentialist philosophers believed? Is it a negative struggle for something we will never achieve?
Is it ………
These questions would never end. There is no right answer.

As there are so many questions about life, there are so many answers to it. So among the many let us pick one definition of life.

Life is a positive pursuit of excellence.

I believe that man’s journey is from success to success. It is a constant journey from success to excellence. It is not because we are leading a miserable life that we started a pursuit of excellence. We are already victors. We are in pursuit of excellence.

There are many elements in this life that tell us continuously from our first day in this world to the last day that we are a failure. Failure has become the basic concept of human existence. Its roots may be in the Bible story of creation and the fall of Adam. A feeling of failure, a fear of failure, an expectation of failure, cautiousness against failure … all are there in man’s life. Life is a struggle to keep away failure.

Let us not blame the Bible for this archetypal fear of failure. Bible did not leave Adam to rot on this earth. It challenged his indomitable spirit to work hard on an unsympathetic earth for his livelihood. With his spirit and strength, he was offered blessing out of curse. So the Bible story conveyed the message of unyielding spirit of man.

God offered the sky for man to reach and kept the land to subdue. Since then man was never defeated by the land, but he continued his success story.

But I do not believe in a ‘defeated man’ theory. Man cannot be defeated or destroyed. Man may face temporary setbacks. In war it is not always victory, there are setbacks too. It is natural for a warrior at unguarded moments to get wounded. A wounded warrior may retreat from war field for a time. But it is a temporary setback. He will bounce back with greater vigor.

Man is a born victor. He is born as a victor. His life journey is from success to excellence.

Look at the eagle. It is a majestic bird. But it has a weakness – a fascination for the sky. It flies high and above to conquer the sky. How much high he flies the sky moves up and up. But the spirit of the bird cannot be defeated. The sky is a living, ever present challenge the eagle will never conquer. It will never conquer the sky, nor will the sky ever tame the will of the eagle. This endless pursuit, beyond any reach, could be perceived as the pursuit of excellence.

Every day the eagle flies higher than the previous day. It is a positive pursuit. It is not a frustrated attempt at an unachievable goal. The pursuit is the soul of it.

Success is a myth. So is excellence.
Excellence is a better state than the previous moment.
It is not an aimless struggle, but is a pleasure trip, enjoying every moment of the journey.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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