This week, I would like to talk about success. Please pause and take a moment to think about it. What does success mean to you?
In my opinion, in today’s society, we are too consumed by money. It seems like money is what we use to define someone who is “successful”. The more money you have, the more things you have, the more you are “winning” in life.
While I do believe money is important, I believe the process of attaining the money is important as well. What do I mean by that?
Well, are you satisfied with your job? What are you trading in order to get the money?
While there are some who are satisfied with their jobs, there are also many who trade years of misery to earn money. Some might say, well, what can we do? We need to survive. We have a mortgage to pay. We have bills to pay. We have kids to raise. And so on.
And I totally understand. Sometimes, your circumstances make it so that you cannot do what you truly want to do. But at the same time, I feel like our society forces us to do things.
For example, we are told to go to school. Then, we are expected to find a stable job. Once we have found a stable job, we are expected to buy a house and settle down. We get married, have kids, and pay bills. If we are lucky, we will retire in our 60s and maybe enjoy life then. This order is what we’re expected to follow. If one were to not follow this, they will be looked down upon.
As a result, the moment we finished school, we are looking for stability. After all, the bank will only lend you money for your mortgage if you can prove that you are able to afford the payments. But once you buy a house/car/so on, you’re stuck. You have to stick with your job because there is no guarantee that you can make the same amount or more if you quit.
We humans do not like to lose things that we already have. So, in a way, even if someone were to discover their passions or want to change their jobs, it is very difficult due to the fear of losing their possessions. Hence, some people end up staying in jobs for 40+ years doing something that makes them absolutely miserable.
Sometimes, I find it so sad. Although it might seem like we are making our own choices, it also feels like we are being controlled.
This quote from Third Circle Theory really sums up what I think:
“Your focus, however, is not on growing money or even saving it but rather making it. As an individual, you are “graded” according to your income -classified as high, middle or low class -not how you live, which demonstrates how society is consumed by the idea of money.” -The Third Circle Theory
To make this post more interesting, I asked a few of my friends what success means to them. Here are some of their responses:
“To me, success is having a lot of money and a good wife.”
“Success is doing whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want.”
“Success is my education and job. If I have a poor education and bad job, I will feel like a failure.”
“Success is when I feel good about myself.”
“Success is when I have a lot of money. Because with money, that’s how I can get things that I want. Money gives me status, respect, and power. I believe everything has a price.”
“Success is doing what I am passionate about.”
So what is your definition of success? For me, success is being healthy and doing what I love. And what do I love? Providing value and meaning in others’ lives. If I feel like my job doesn’t inspire or help others, I feel miserable. It does not matter how much society approves of me, or how much I earn, I would still feel useless.
I want to live a meaningful life; one that I would be proud of when I look back.
What about you?
I hope you enjoyed this post.
P.S. If you’re a Zui Wu Dao fan, I will upload the 2nd chapter this week! Maybe on Wednesday. Originally, I was going to wait until Friday but it seems like a lot of you guys want to read it.