So I’ve come to learn something about ‘success’ the past week. I’m seriously beginning to doubt that success is but a painful societal obligation. I mean, here we are, spending all of our youth, trying and trying and trying endlessly to simply be good enough. When did good enough become so hard to be? That’s exactly what I found myself thinking when I was sitting near this guy in a bus who had applied to patent some secret software he was developing for a nameless company in the USA.
‘It beats me to think that you’re just 26,’ I told him, a tad let-down that my life seemed like a record chronology of bad choices in comparison, ‘I cannot believe that you are going to patent something. Like Wow.’
‘Well,’ He said, ‘I can’t help it. I guess it’s just that I know I have to make lots of money before I get old’.
‘So how much money do you want to make?’
He looked at me, a confused expression on his face then paused a moment before replying. ‘I don’t know… I mean, just lots I guess’.
‘It’s a simple question. Just how much money do you want to make till you’re satisfied?’
‘I don’t know, I mean, just till I feel really successful I guess’.
It struck me then that he didn’t really feel successful at all. And here I was, thinking about how much he had achieved so young. Upon reflection, I must admit, I wouldn’t know the answer to the question either. How much would I try till I sit back and think that I have enough? Hours after I got home, I couldn't stop dwelling on it. So I found a quiet moment to curl up on the couch near my dad when he was watching late night telly.
'Pa. I'm so sad. I feel like I'm just working and working and working and I’m just not getting anywhere.’
And he said, ‘You’re doing just fine’.
I paused, and thought about what he said for a moment. Actually, I wasn't doing so bad. Heck, I'm only 25. Maybe, that’s the assurance we need from time to time, that we’re all good enough even without the throwing ourselves out there to achieve what other people call success…and all the excess.