Anyone who has seen the telecasts of crowds that gather for football games in Europe would not have missed the passion with which the spectators support their teams even though some of the club teams many have more foreign players than natives. A similar passion is displayed by our cricket fans, who follow the Indian team’s success and failure with great fervour. Sometimes, fans of opposite teams even get into fights over disputed calls.
Why is this so ? Why do we want to hitch on to someone else, especially to sports persons, club teams or national teams ? Imagine the predicament of people who do so. They have no control over what others do ; they can only watch helplessly as other people perform or not perform upto their expectations. Instead of anxiously depending on others’ success or failure, the same passion, if utilized in personal activities, is likely to bring more rewards both in satisfaction and in its long lasting effects.
As souls, we all have a craving to create something and when we do achieve something, we find it satisfying. This is because success is defined as the achievement of a desired aim, or of fame, wealth or social position. However, in the Bhagavad-Geeta, Lord Krishna states, “One who is happy within is peaceful and when he is illuminated from inside, he achieves the blissful stage of being liberated” ( 5.24 ).
Due to lack of such higher knowledge and the absence of requisite efforts, many live a very ordinary life with no personal “success” of any consequence. Since we all need success of some kind to feel good or to even make our lives tolerable, we are tempted to identify with others and hope that those persons succeed.
While this dependence can only be classed as hopeful, surely we can learn from the same sportstars we so passionately follow. How do they achieve success ? Is it not by dedication, hard work, having clear-cut goals and with a focused approach ? Luck plays only a small, if crucial, part in their high-profile success. If they were not ready, if they had not built their skills to a state of readiness for selection, they would never have got that break or all the opportunities that followed.
Attempting personal success is worth it ; getting on to someone else’s bandwagon is just not the same thing. In sum, depending on others for our happiness is not very wise. Our own actions are likely to bring better rewards.