What drives success? In my early career, I equated it with my pay cheque, travel, promotions and building professional relationships. But somewhere in my heart, I knew that was not it. Through my various journeys with different companies in different capacities, I learnt about business, life and myself. While business is driven by profit and innovation, life is driven by passion and the aspiration for excellence. About myself I learnt that I thrived on building relationships and these were reflected strongly in my values for both business and life. I believe that you are the sum of the people you meet, the books you read and the things that fire your soul.
The way I see it today, the definition of success is never the same for two people. However, increasingly we are sold on the idea of success in a boxed package. From a very young age, children are conditioned to equate success with wealth, status and power. As we grow into our professions – often chosen for what it represents in monetary benefits and secure lifestyle – we are pushed constantly to achieve more. Being busy and having an almost negligent personal life are considered virtues of a successful person.
The world is obsessed by success. We often spend a lifetime pursuing someone else’s version of success. And when and if realisation dawns, it is often too late.
What then is success? It is the ability to find what makes you come alive. It could be a really small dream or it could be about building an empire. It doesn’t really matter. It matters that you know and you are willing to do everything you can to own it. The purpose you give to your life should inspire you to overcome the challenges and struggles that come with being human. It should be the thing that makes you happy.
The real question then is: what makes you happy? And it’s okay not to know, it’s okay to think you know and then realise maybe that’s not it, but what’s really important is to never lose sight of the question. Because that’s what real success is. It’s to be able to live a life that is truly yours, to be true to yourself.
There is no scoreboard for success. With time, I have also come to learn that success is a habit. You must cultivate it, nurture it and practice it.