Redefining Success

It’s not about shooting all the balls into the hole, it’s about shooting the right ones.

One of the things in life that could make you experience joy or agony is success. Ironic? That’s the truth. You see, our ultimate aim, whatever that is, is to achieve success. You may want a high-paying job, a big position in a prominent conglomerate, a beautiful wife, lots of children…practically anything under the sun. All those are translated successes. The proof of achievements.

If, and when, we achieve success, the feeling lifts us up beyond the clouds. It escalates us to a whole new level of satisfaction. But what happens when we fail to realize our dreams, or fail to do so now? The truth and the obvious answer – disappointment. That’s natural but it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

I’ve come to realize that the way we look at things, specifically the way we define our goals, greatly influences the outcomes. An example. Mr Perfect’s life goal is to have a huge villa by the sea and five Mercedes-Benz to enhance the facade. Mr Perfect succeeds in making that happen. Given that I am Mr Perfect’s friend, I automatically define success in Mr Perfect’s context. Meaning that I will only perceive myself to be successful if I have a villa by the sea and five luxury cars. Sadly, I have yet to realize that dream and I start to think that I’m a failure.

But, but, but… say that I stray from that context. I redefine success in my own context. Say that my goal is to have a simple terrace house and a wife to live with me. Given that the goal was set within my strengths and preferences (as luxury cars are of no appeal to me), that goal is more likely to be achieved. And say that I do succeed…walla! Satisfaction at its divine state! Get the picture?

Life is too big for us to let external factors determine how our lives should be. We should set goals based on things that matter to us. Things that would make us content if we have it. Not things that others have. It has been the common game in this world to rub successes in people’s faces. At times, that misguided attitude clouds our judgement. We may think that that particular goal is what we truly one, failing to realize that the only reason we want to achieve that goal is to beat that particular someone.

It’s not an easy task but life will be much happier if we redefine success. We should determine what makes us a successful person in our own context. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is big or small. The most important thing is that achieving it would make us happy. So, know yourself, identify your goals in your context and avoid blind comparison with others. While pitting yourself against others gives that spirit boost, doing it for all the wrong reasons does little to give you a better life.

Am I right? Maybe. Maybe not. Life’s a learning process and hence, I’m a life-long student.


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