To ascend to success in material life, winners often have to stand atop their competitors, causing the death of their dreams. For example, in a tennis Grand Slam Championship match, the very shot that delights the winner shatters the loser.
The same principle of winners standing atop losers applies to our successes too, although with lesser drama and pathos. Undoubtedly, most of us don’t want to hurt others; we simply want to be successful and happy ourselves. However, a materialistic worldview reduces our definition of success to material terms. And the markers of material success are far fewer than the pursuers of that success. So, materialism leaves us with no way to success other than by trampling on others’ dreams.
Gita wisdom introduces us to a more wholesome form of success: spiritual success. In spiritual life, success depends not on outer acquisition but on inner realization. When we purify ourselves through yoga practice, we realize that we are blissful parts of the blissful whole, the all-attractive Absolute Truth, Krishna. Enriched with this realization, we feel that nothing needs to be attained and that nothing can disturb us (Bhagavad-gita 06.22). When we thus find fulfillment in who we are, not in what we possess, we can stand tall without standing on others.
Moreover, our standing tall in our position, in our relationship with Krishna, can inspire others to stand similarly tall in their position, in their relationship with Krishna. As Krishna, being unlimited, is available fully for everyone, we all can relish spiritual success without stepping on anyone else – we all have our own eternal position.
When we are thus internally fulfilled, we can strive in a mood of service to do our best materially. And we can accept gracefully whatever we get, success or failure, without letting it define us.