What is success? A perfect grade? A perfect marriage? A perfect job? A perfect physical looks? A rich pocket?
Really … what is success???
Our culture and society has somehow conditioned the minds to think that we must tread on certain paths to achieve success in life. To start, as a child, our parents push us to study hard to ensure good grades in order to be able to find better jobs prospects in our later life.
Then, as we grow, we learnt that dressing well, using branded stuffs aided us in terms of social acceptance to a certain ranking.
But are all these true success? Or are they just superficial?
I was once in one of those category though I was not very good with my grades, I do not dress well or use branded stuffs but I was in the category of thinking that I must accept social norm to achieve success in life. So I decided I must marry and have children while still young. I must do things that make people think well of me. Somehow people’s approval of me is one of my criteria to define success. I do belief in doing good and not harming others but along the way, I realised I get too many disappointments due to having expectations of others towards myself. These happened when the expectations did not materialised as I expected them to.
After going through so many of these events, I finally realised that it is not their approval I need but myself and my Creator. I stopped doing things with such intentions. Now, I strive to break that habit and always remind myself to do things according to the expectations towards myself and not others. I choose to live my life based on my approval, ways that gives me joy and acceptance of myself. Ways that will not make me sad, disappointed, hurt and anger. More importantly I strive to continue to not harm others intentionally.
For example, if I give presents to others or assist others when they are in need, it will be because the actions of giving give me joy and it’s not because I give so that the other party like me or will reciprocate the gesture. Do things because its the right thing to do and not because of social pressure.
Now, I believe by living according to my needs and standards are the true joy and success in life. I may not be rich, may not be pretty, may not be intelligent and may not be like by many …. all these are no longer important. What’s important is that my actions towards myself and others do not cause superficial happiness and distress. I do and I approve of what I do is what important now. I seek my own approval and I try to live according to my standards and not social norm standards.
This is freedom to me and because I change the way I think now … I am more happy and more comfortable just being me and be in my own company.