Updated: Jul 5
It was a sunny morning on a weekday, and the birds were chirpier than ever. The pandemic lockdown was about to begin for the year 2021, and with the clock ticking past 6 a.m, I knew it was a good time to sip on some good coffee.
The morning view I get to see each day is pure bliss, and to add to the splendid scenery, some magnificent coffee is what sets my perfect morning. Coffee helps me observe, think, reflect, and simply sip on some more coffee while I read. I enjoy catching up with people I know and love to meet fresh minds, so I made the basic “let’s grab some coffee” excuse to catch up with a friend and mentor of mine. The coffee excuse worked out pretty well, I must say, that my pal offered to head over someplace for snacks too.
It is always good to aim for success in our endeavors, but chasing them is not the solution. Prepare for it and let success come to you.
The cafe we visited serves excellent coffee, and great coffee makes great conversation. My friend and I enjoyed the cafe view and music while we talked about various things–some debatable and some commendable. We took our conversation to our drive to the restaurant and barely realized the pace at which we switched topics, even after finding us a table.
If I must recall, our restaurant conversation included sharing opinions on success and the things one ought to do to become successful in life. I’m more of a questioner when I happen to discuss the philosophies of life with my friend or mentor, so I’d put out a couple of debatable questions on the table, ranging from what defines success to making mistakes, overcoming failure, and giving back to society.
Interestingly, the conversation at the restaurant revolved around defining aspects of success in human life. Being the all-time curious I am, we spoke for hours, and I kept shooting questions on being a successful entrepreneur. There was an intense exchange of positive energies because many ideas, perceptions, and insights were shared, and nothing keeps me going other than having a great chat with someone I look up to. My pal patiently answered every question while I carefully listened, hoping to get as much insight. But there came a time when he finally asked me a question, “Midhun, why is it so important to be successful?”
My mind was running at lightning speed, but my mouth felt parched; I had nothing to say. It was time I started contemplating by putting an end to this mind-bending conversation on a simple aspect we humans refer to as “success.” My pal knew what I wanted–some time to think and some time to myself, and so after a moment of brief pause, we left the restaurant and drove back to the office.
From reaching pre-set levels that define success to eventually deriving its meaning from different activities and calling those results "Success," we've come a long way. Don't you think it's time we stop for a moment in our busy lives and listen to ourselves for once to understand if success needs a definite meaning?
I bid my pal adieu, and as I entered my office, there was something in my head that asked: "Why am I so hellbent on being successful?" It kept ringing in my head like an echoing microphone. I took a seat to think and decide. I even tried defining my version of success to have some closure on the topic. There were a few aspects, my pal, aka mentor, gave insights on the definition of success. So I tried to correlate them with some of my life's experiences, and I still came to a point black conclusion of not finding closure.
As I sit down to write this blog, it sure feels good to reminisce about this conversation with my friend. It was those moments of conversation where I can proudly say that it has been one of my turning points in life because I found more happiness than just some common closure to an aspect so mere to some yet so crucial to many. And although I couldn't get to a compromising conclusion, there came a question:
"Does Success Really Exist?"
Right from our tender schooling age, we've all been taught that one who excels at any activity is successful. Be it a sportive, cultural, or academic event; we've been wired to strive and compete in order to be successful. Well, I cannot deny that a little competitive spirit is barely any harm, but I've come to realize that in our schooling years, we've been taught to compete but not to enjoy the process. Imagine enjoying a good sport because it helps you stay fit and spend some time with friends, or having a study session with your buddies so everyone can learn and grow at a good pace. The world would be a little less hard to breathe in, knowing that everyone around you is enjoying the process.
When it comes to competition, we funnel into winners and losers, where the winner can hold that top position and flaunt his victory while the loser would grumble and have low self-esteem. And now, with a winner with high self-esteem, it becomes challenging to keep up with the position that could perhaps result in a breakdown or burnout.
That's when we need to realize that be it any activity irrespective of its requirements; we need to trust the process and simply enjoy it. We're all instilled with human emotions, whether we like it or not, but we sure can control it. We have limited ourselves due to peer pressure and social stigmas that we've forgotten to cherish life's beautiful moments that are happening around us. We've unknowingly turned a blind eye to these moments and have fixated on the things that aren't really meant for us. In reality, we have been ignoring our own games and playing someone's game.
This game is none other than life itself. Life can sometimes throw you a bunch of lemons, and it's up to us on how we intend to utilize them—perhaps make some refreshing lemonade—or simply toss them away. In this life, we are so occupied achieving the milestones set by others that we have forgotten to work for ourselves. If this may seem debatable, try answering this–when was the last time you've tried some ice cream to enjoy its taste, or the last time you danced in a pub to groove and enjoy the rhythm and vibe?
From reaching pre-set levels that define success to eventually deriving its meaning from different activities and calling those results "Success," we've come a long way. Don't you think it's time we stop for a moment in our busy lives and listen to ourselves for once, just to understand if success needs a definite meaning? Just doing what we love to do and worrying less about being successful can answer a few of life's biggest questions. The best example of this is to look at our present-day world leaders. They're all successful personalities who broke stereotypes and kept doing what they loved. No matter what happened around them, what unfortunate circumstances occurred, they simply followed their heart.
Whether you failed at something or achieved a goal, your end result should be that it lands a smile on your face. You are here for the process and not the results. Happiness cannot be ruined as long as we trust and enjoy the process. Trust the process. Keep trusting the process, and you can find your version of success if you believe it exists.
It is always good to aim for success in our endeavors, but Chasing them is not the solution. Prepare for it and let success come to you.