In over two decades, I have observed how plenty of people define others’ success by numbers. A successful person, for most of us, is a millionaire, a graduate with the highest GPA, or a professional ranking on top of his/her field. Therefore, many of us also strive to become these people.
When we focus our goals on achieving certain numbers and measure our progress by how much money we earned, or by how many steps we climbed through the social ladder, we are somehow making other people control our lives. These results are tangible and therefore, can be seen by others. As time goes by, we should ask ourselves if we’re just leaning towards our goals because of how people will see us if we achieve them.
“Are we spending too much of our time just to impress other people?”
In 2018, let’s start refocusing our goals. Let’s begin by knowing the true purpose of our goals. Why do you want to succeed in your chosen field? Is it for the rewards/recognitions that you can receive? Or is it because of the actual contribution you can give to the field? If you want to make a positive change in the world, do you want to do so for people to know that you are the one who made that change possible, or simply because you love seeing change in those causes that you advocate for?
Remind yourself that looking into the mirror will always be different from other people looking directly at you. This difference should reflect on how you perceive your goals in life. Are you pursuing your career because other people expect you to? Do you want to earn a lot of money and spend so little on wonderful experiences just because you want other people to know that you are being paid a lot? The discrepancy between who you want to be and what others want you to do should be the most important constant in your life.
This coming year, let’s perceive success as something that cannot be defined by just numbers.
Let’s stop defining people just by how we see them on the surface. Let’s start to acknowledge that the most successful people are those who contribute so much to our society. Let’s start appreciating those people who volunteer and give whatever free time they have for such a good cause. Let’s start to recognize the ones who dedicate their lives to inspire and motivate other people.
Lastly, let’s start to agree that successful people know how to see the beauty of life by not only caring for others, but also by valuing themselves, especially their mental health. Because they are the ones we should look up to, they are the ones we should strive to become.