Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Success Through Excellence - Imsanenla Ao, Asst. Professor Education

Nagaland has many people employed in the education and training sector. We may talk about problems in structures, buildings and we can try and make sure that only qualified people are hired. However, apart from qualifications, what sets people apart is the passion and zeal of someone who loves their job compared to someone who is merely earning a living. When Nagaland is clamoring for jobs, those of us who are employed need to realize we have a responsibility as a teacher, clerk, or officer. Education plays a key role here in guiding someone so that you can pursue a job and take up a fulfilling career and experience success.


Success Through Excellence

-          Imsanenla Ao, Asst. Professor Education

There are diverse perceptions of success and excellence; however, all converge within the dimension of education that runs through all of life. The attempt of this article is to dissect and look into it briefly. Everybody wants to be successful in their endeavour; many people make it to the finish line, but only a few choose to excel and move beyond the yardstick. These few are the most contented people, irrespective of their social status, position or nature of work, which in some cases may appear to be lower in rank or less coveted, because the world measures success and excellence on the basis of position held. Position is not always an accurate representation of a person’s success or excellence. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michael Angelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” It is apparent that success brings fame and position but does not guarantee real satisfaction. On the other hand, excellence is always accompanied by immense joy and satisfaction. Often, we as individuals focus too much on success and not excellence, but it should be the other way round. There is a saying “Don’t run behind success, run behind excellence, and success will run behind you”. Every parent’s desire is to see their children being successful and settled with a lucrative job. Everybody wants a lucrative job but the poignant question would be, is the nature of your job a product of your passion and hard work? I have seen many people who hate their jobs but keep them to make a living. I have no ill feelings against such people. My only concern is if you hate what you do, where is the room for excellence?

You may be a successful person but excellence in this respect is not forthcoming. Then what is success and what is excellence? Success is achieving what wants intended. It is measured by achievement, often it is measured by comparison with others. Excellence on the other hand, is all about doing the best and maximising your potentiality to the fullest and highest possible degree. It is going beyond success and beyond the yardstick. Education is often misunderstood as earning a degree or merely being literate. Though it is intrinsically connected to literacy, it is an ability to give meaning to words, discovering oneself, acquisition of the art to utilize knowledge in the right way etc. Many have acquired attractive degrees and handsome jobs, sadly many are yet to discover the true self and unique power one is endowed with.

Education is supposed to help us understand ourselves better. Education moulds and shapes, polishes and refines the crude. It adds elegance to what was previously rough, it gives technique to what was earlier chaotic, it crafts meaning in what was previously inane. To be educated is to be motivated so as to excel in ones pursuits. Our perspective for acquiring success and excellence should not be limited to earning degrees or jobs alone, but rather understanding one’s desire and knowing the unique potentiality should be the focus and pursuit. One should choose a career according to his/her passion and not under someone else’s pressure or interest. However, while doing so, it should ordinate with the innate ability, talents, gifts and potentiality to ensure excellence in his/her pursuits.

Education in the words of Mahatma Gandhi is defined as an all round development, body, mind and spirit. Ideally education embraces the three important components of life, physical, mental and spiritual. Therefore, to be truly educated is to adopt an holistic approach by keeping these components intact and balanced. Furthermore, those in positions of responsibility especially educational institutions should know where the boundary needs to be drawn and work on personality development, which in effect would positively impact both the quantity and quality aspects of an individual. Aristotle sums up all when he said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Students who develop physical vitality, emotional maturity, dynamic willpower, and a clear, practical intellect are prepared to lead a genuinely satisfying life of personal accomplishment and growth.

In conclusion, education in the real sense encompasses development in all aspects of life. Education is not just preparing for life, but education in itself is life. To fly with the wings of excellence let us be reminded of the words of Albert Einstein “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”


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