On top of the World
(How to manage Success and plan your career)
What does being on top of the world mean? Why is it described as so lonely at the top? And why is it that what goes up has to fall down (not like Newton's apple but metamorphically speaking)? Questions every successful person has to face and every aspiring success seeker is keen to ask!
However much more important and perhaps chronologically first in order is the question, "How does being different work and is it good or bad?"
Let's take the first one first then!
=> Being different:
The only truth worth knowing about being different (other than the obvious attention it draws to its' protagonist) is that it will always progresses to Whackism ( A world not defined in any dictionary but rather my own loose creation). However, I may also point out here that I rather consider it a degeneration than a progression, and the reason for this degeneration is the running out of ideas syndrome. How different could anyone possibly get when everybody is already different?
But the cause of concern is not the degeneration into Whackism itself but rather the next and final stage of this progression, the Weirdism (Once again a new word created by yours truly, yet effective enough in defining itself on its' own merit). The reason for such a degeneration is the vanishing of boundaries between what is weird and what is whacky when the protagonist fails to see the bigger picture, as he/she strives hard to be different for the sake of success.
The Golden Rule One: "People like what is different, can tolerate what is whacky but will turn away from what is weird."
Now before I link this to the story of "success" and answer the remaining questions, let me state another Golden rule: "Sexy is always sophisticated!"
What is cheap or weird can never be sexy! And it's sexy that sells!
Now to the main point of discussion for this topic:
=> Success - On top of the world
Success is often compared to being on top of a hill, and rightly so. A person competes with many others to attain a position of envy. The space at the highest social position is much like the pointed tip of a mountain, that is, only enough for one person to stand there. So let me take this topic to the top of a hill.
A person can chose a different path than the rest to reach to that top position, that is immaterial. But what now that the person has reached that top position? Since you are already at the top you can't go any higher. What happens from there?
Compare this situation to a mountaineer who has just made to the top of a hill and when he looks down below towards the valley all he can see is a mass of humanity, looking up at him, shouting and waving, something he perceives as cheering.
Two questions arise at this point:
•Firstly, what from here?
•Secondly, what can the mountaineer do?
As regards the first question, "Success" is like a peak which has two contrasting sides. One side is a slow but steady slope towards the ground and the other is a cruel, heartless fall from the cliff. Let us discuss these two sides first before I answer the second question. While doing this the second and third question on top of this page will get an automatic answer.
Being successful is like being on top of a hill. There is a sense of accomplishment, fulfilment and pride, and also, everybody else looks really small from that height. Everybody seems to be cheering your success and perhaps envying you. But these feelings are because one is so far above that one cannot hear what the people are saying. Those standing below have already accepted one's mettle that one proved by climbing to the top. Now all everybody wants of that person is for him/her to climb down safely so that he/she could be bestowed all the adulation and admiration. Nobody else can or will try to climb up that height to meet one at the top to congratulate that person. That is why it is so lonely at the top. The people standing below have already finished cheering and are waiting, waiving and yelling at the successful climber to climb down and cherish what he/she has accomplished. They know, if the mountaineer won't climb down this way, either he/she will tumble down and suffer grievous injury, or will fall off on the other side to an imminent death.
No one can live on top of the peak forever. One has to climb down when they still can. The adulation, admiration and basking in the glory cannot happen at the top where you are alone but only when you climb down to be back among your friends and well wishers who will then lift you on the top of their shoulders, giving you a ride of your life.
The proverbial "On top of the World" is not on the top of the mountain of success but on top of the shoulders of your friends, mates and well wishers.
Those who mistake the top of the mountain to be the top of the world always fall either to their demise or destruction. All that is left for them is just sympathy, not glory. They become examples of how success doesn't last and everything that goes up falls down. People don't remember their climb but their fall.
So what should a person who has reached the top of the mountain of success do? The answer to this second question is simple in its' statement.
Once you have reached the top, plan your climb down on your own. You cannot keep doing the same thing over and over again and you cannot climb up any further. However, you can always come down to bask in the glory of what you have achieved and then " Move towards the next peak to conquer it."
Climbing down the peak is not about giving up but rather a part of the process of "Progress of Life".
"One doesn't have to and shouldn't live on top of the first peak they conquer but move over to the bottom of another one to conquer it."
This way one not only gets an opportunity to bask in the glory of what they have already accomplished but the process of self challenging keeps their lives interesting, worth living and an inspiration. They never rest but continue to succeed. To make it simple, here's an example:
An actor can become famous by trying to be different and be the most successful. But how long will the being different approach sell. When the ideas to be different will start running out as noted above the different will degrade to Weird. People may like sexy but they won't accept weird. Besides, age will catch up sooner or later. One cannot dance, prance and sing around like teens all their life. The progression has to be from teen flavour to maturity and finally sensibility.
Once you are the best the best actor, then it's time to be the best businessperson and then the best social worker or leader. If you stop at being the best actor you are sitting at the top of your first hill, alone. How long before people will find another mountaineer who's conquered a taller peak?
Life is all about challenging yourself to achieve. Once you achieve what you challenged yourself about, it's time to challenge yourself afresh.
Amanpreet Singh Rai
(Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss)