A general dictionary defines a superpower as, ‘An extremely powerful nation, countries capable of influencing international events, global policies, etc, influence acts and policies of less powerful nations, etc.’ For example, if you type the word ‘superpower’ in any internet search engine it will usually throw up names and articles of countries like USA, USSR, Japan, China, etc., and their influence in world affairs. And if you read a little bit of history, you can see names of other countries like Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, etc., who were all superpowers long, long ago.
On a smaller scale, we also see countless examples of super companies and super individuals who have now either wound up, disintegrated or simply disappeared without a trace. After reading such stuff it’s natural for anyone to wonder how they could not sustain their success in spite of having all the powers and knowledge to do so. For this the pundits may give series of explanations and reasons for the decline. For example, Rome was a superpower in ancient times, had an army with the best training, the best budgets, finest buildings, etc. But today that empire is nowhere, and any history professor can explain how the Roman Empire disintegrated because a certain emperor did a bunch of silly mistakes. Or, coming to the 21st century, current day pundits may give a detailed list of a modern country's leadership failures resulting in its decline. Secondly, with the advent of modern media today, there are no dearth of soothsayers who confidently predict who will be the next superpower, super company or super-individual in the future. But whether such predictions will become true only time will tell. However, in spite of truckloads of information available on how a nation, organization or an individual can ascend or descent, there are a few mysterious secrets about success that one should be constantly aware of as described below.
1. Success is a traveler. The goddess of wealth and fame travels from hand to hand. History is full of such examples of such riches to rags stories of countries, organizations and individuals. Logic and rationalism may somehow explain how such downslides happen in our universe, but it cannot explain why they happen. The why reason lies is in the naughty way success works. Success is a fickle creature, like a monkey on a tree or a butterfly that jumps from one flower to another. It does not stay in one place. Though it’s a natural desire for countries, companies and people to continuously remain on the top, Mother Nature does not allow that. It will ensure they fail and decline after some time, and will never allow a single entity to hog the limelight forever. Hence, nobody can remain at the top perpetually, no matter how smart they are or how hard they try.
2. When great nations, organizations or individuals decline you may ask, why on earth do such bad things happen and how did they fail in spite of following the so-called best practices that made them climb to a superpower status. For this, people may say it’s because the universe is a random, chaotic dance of meaningless happenings. This may seem true, because we see several personal and singular ‘Riches to Rags’ stories that just don’t make sense. But, on an overall scale, underneath all the chaotic occurrences there are hidden reasons and purpose to many things that happen around. Call it fate, destiny or luck, but accept the fact that the baton will change hands, and the emperor's crown will get a new head to sit on temporarily. So, learn to tune into the mysterious way our nature works.
3. Success has no loyalty and can ditch anyone at any time. It can go from anyone to anyone and is always unpredictable. Also, success is not too choosy or logical about the competency or worthiness of the person it’s gifting itself to. That is if Person-A is currently a good capable person, and suppose success decides to ditch him, it will not necessarily choose another good capable person to cling on to. Just look around and you can see countless such examples of things going from good to bad, and bad to worse.
4. Success is restless and gets bored easily. It’s not faithful to anyone. Even if one is doing all the apparent right things it’s not possible to retain or sustain success. Like a child that gets bored of every toy within hours or days and expects its parents to buy a new toy, success by nature is a restless individual constantly seeking new owners to latch on to.
Finally, we can conclude this chapter with a quote that says, ‘When humans are too happy, even the gods are jealous’ - Old jungle saying.