Crediting Excellence

The pride of a woman in her extra-ordinary beauty was deflated by the following words of a poet: “Taareef us khuda ki jisne tujhe banaya” (Praise be to God who made you”).

That a person contributes little to his or her looking beautiful (except superficially by way of make- up etc.) and that it is largely a gift of God or nature is generally easily conceded. However, in other areas, those who achieve excellence are more likely to give credit to their own intensive endeavours and the support of their near and dear ones and guides and generally forget to acknowledge God’s or nature’s contribution to their excellence.

Take, for example, a person topping the tough exam for admission to the Indian Administrative Service. The person naturally and deservedly gives credit to her own efforts and acknowledges the contributory role of her parents and grand parents in making various sacrifices that led to her success. But – unintentionally, unless the person is a non-believer- forgets to acknowledge God’s or nature’s gifts that also made the success possible.

The creator blesses all humans with similar or same physical or tangible assets like a head, a brain, pairs of eyes, hands feet, legs etc.(except in freak cases) but as far as intangible assets or attributes are concerned, he blesses humans differently, as part of a deliberate plan to ensure smooth running of the creation. For example, people are born with different temperaments,ambitions,aptitudes,innate abilities, talents, likes or dislikes. That is why we see people flourishing – or languishing -(depending on whether they correctly diagnosed their intangible assets)in different fields and that is what makes the world what it is, a conglomerate of all kinds of activities, pursuits and outcomes.

A person has a greater chance of achieving excellence if his/her pursuits are in a field that harmonises with his/her natural traits/gifts. The IAS topper in 2016, for example, told the “Indian Express”, in an interview that she had initially joined the science stream but realising early on that she lacked the aptitude for that stream, switched to Humanities within a few months and she credited her final result to that switch.

Thus while hard work and other material factors undoubtedly play a crucial role in determining the outcome, the innate attributes of the person gifted by God or nature also are of critical importance not only in initial success but also in the career’s progression. It is also important that people achieving excellence do acknowledge this critical factor.

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