Sunday, May 20, 2007

Johnny Klegg on What Success Means to Him

Today I happened across a new programme on SABC 3 specifically targated at men -Zooming in On Men. It's on every Sunday at four thirty in the afternoon, and specifically targets a male audience. Some of the topics presented range from male notions of masculinity to fashion, leisure sports, relationships and so on. One of the guests today was Johnny Klegg (nick-named the White Zulu), academic turned singer/song-writer. And the topic was success, how they perceived it, what it meant to them and how they had achieved it. I found the interview with Johnny Klegg most interesting. He is an unusual individual and very talented. He was not afraid to take a risk, leaving the security of a paid job and some might say a secure career path to pursue his dreams.
He says that for him, success is about meaning, what things mean to you and how you fit it into your life. Essentially you have to define what is important to you, what makes meaning to your existence and then you begin to work towards actualising it. Johnny Klegg believes that it is important to rely on your inner voice, your instincts. Ask yourself ''how much do I want to do this and be this?'' In other words, you need to be very realistic and honest in answering these questions. He also was very emphatic about success not being about financial wealth. The programme ended with the presenter reading out Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem titled, ''What is Success''. Very relevant to anyone in pursuit of success in my view.
This interview and Emerson's poem reiterate what was said by all the guest speakers at the WOW training sessions. You are your greatest resource. You have to define your dreams. You have to make your own success. The road to success begins with you.


Thomas Blaser said...

Is that good enough? It seems society also dictates what success means, not only my own perception. You need to have a position, some social relevance and you need to get paid for what you do. So 'success' does not only rely on your subjectivity, but also on the values of society.

Valentin said...

Dear Ijeoma, very true.
You raise a very interesting issue.
Personally, I believe that success in life depends entirely upon you. As you say (also referring to Johnny Klegg), "you are your greatest resource" and "the road to success begins with you". I completely agree with that statement.
I also believe that success is largely about achieving happiness in life. Thus, I believe that the definition of success should be measured upon how happy in life you are indeed.
And there are indeed few essential things that make people happy in life: a stable and united family, a good job, a good standard of living etc. Among all of those, I believe that the most important is your family or your relationship with your partner.
Above all, this is what brings happinness at home and makes you feel comfortable. Respectively, this is how you measure for yourself whether you have been successfull in life.
Sometimes people tend to neglect this aspect and they define success in life solely in materialistic terms: how big your house is; what car you drive; how many cars or properties you've got.
However, all this is worth nothing if you are lonely and you do not have poeple around you that you care about and they care about you. In fact, I believe that without love and care around you, your life would be pointless and empty.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hi Thomas/Valentin,
Thank you for commenting on my post. Thomas, I am not trying to make it sound so simplistic but I strongly believe that the will to succeed starts with the individual. And Valentin sums up what I was trying to say very nicely. I agree with you Thomas that you need to have your networks, but who starts these networks? You!! see what I am saying?