What is your definition of success?
We all have different definitions of what success is. I too had one. Recently by a very close relative of mine, it was pointed out to me that my definition of success was unhealthy.
Let me walk you through it. What was my definition of success you ask me? It was earning lots of money and getting known and famous for what I do. It was this thing that was in my head that I had become obsessed with. In my definition, there was no room for happiness. There was no room for the little things that I liked. It was just focused on the larger picture and start working to get the crores of rupees in your bank right from today. I was told to rethink and change my definition of what success what. I was made to understand that if what I am doing doesn’t make me happy if I do not feel fulfilled at the end of the day, no matter what it is, it is just not worth it.
I had made choices for me that was making me miserable. I don’t know why I felt the need to stick to it even though it made me feel that way. I felt that I wouldn’t be able to respect myself if I don’t finish what I started even though it was making me feel sad. All these emotions and feelings that were kept inside started showing up as sadness and depression. All of this was self-created. I have never faced any pressure of any sort from any third person. All this to a point where I had to take medical help.
The point is, we make choices. Sometimes the choices are good for us, sometimes they are bad. Who do we have to prove ourselves to? If something doesn’t make us happy, we should leave it. It can literally be anything. It can be as small as the colour of a dress to something as big as a relationship. It is our life and we aren’t accountable to anyone.
Some words like, ‘career’, ‘ambition’ and ‘productivity’ are overused and over popularized. So much that there are students out there trying to do something different but they have to fit into the race, they have to make a place for themselves. I don’t know how much of that is true but standing here today not knowing what I want to do moving forward, makes me feel scared. Scared to make a decision. So many what-ifs around everything. What if what I actually like, isn’t a career option? What if people don’t accept me? These thoughts are haunting in a different way altogether.
While going through all this, I had a conversation with a relative of mine. She has always been an inspiration. I have always admired her attitude towards everything. I called her to tell her everything that’s going on and she asked me to stop putting so much pressure on myself. She asked me to redefine for myself what success is. What you decide will be the end of it. No one else is going to come and live your life. Today if I wake up and decide, I am going to clean my table and that will make me happy. End of the day, I should be happy and satisfied by just cleaning my table because that’s how I defined it for myself.
She went on to tell me that if we are fulfilled at the end of the day, nothing else matters. Even if you just watch a show or finish a book the entire day, if you go to bed feeling fulfilled then that is enough. The crores of rupees won't matter after a point. To lead a happy life, you don’t need so much money anyway. I think I had this conversation about a week ago and I cannot stop thinking about it. No one had put it that way for me. For me personally, it was always getting things done. I had everything planned for me. I never stopped to even think that will I ever be fulfilled with the life I had planned for myself?
So here I am sitting and writing this. I have no clue what I am going to do tomorrow or the day after. I have no certain path about where my “career” is going. I am not going to lie, it scares the shit out of me. Big changes don’t happen in a day. I am trying to redefine my definition of happiness and success. I am trying to be content in whatever I do. Again, I am trying. It’s a long way to go. Maybe reading this meant nothing to you, maybe I managed to inspire you, too many maybes. All I can say right now that I am happy I could put down my thoughts into words and I am going to sleep like a baby tonight.