April 29, 2016

Me, successful?

During a casual chat with a young graduate, he said to me …“Wah, you are so successful … don’t have to work already”.

Me, successful? Errrrrrr … depends on how you look at it. I’ll get back to that in a while.

First, let me ask … how do you measure success or what do you use to measure success?

Let’s throw in a bit of economic jargons just to make it sounds better … when measuring the GDP, it is not based on a fixed basket of things … like it differs from time to time in GDP, the things to put in the basket to measure success differs from people to people. OK clear? 

What it means is that everyone has their own ways of measuring success … some measure by life standards and values, some by religious principles, some by the hard way of sweat and tears and others used material gains to show what they have achieved.

Success comes in all shape and forms … it can be a small personal success like when you trained and ran a marathon … or it can be a big achievement in career advancement like when you have worked hard to be your own boss … or it can be a huge national pride like when someone wins the Olympic Gold for the country.

I am sure everyone has various form of successes in their lives and what you use to measure the successes is totally up to you.

Richard Branson is successful man but I don’t know what he puts in his basket to measure his success … all I know is that he has the Virgin Group to his name and he has an island with a posh resort home, millions in the bank, a yacht and of course airplanes to show how successful he is. So is Bill Gates of Microsoft, so is Jack Ma of Alibaba, so is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and so was Steve Jobs of Apple.

Then again … so was my Dad! BUT ... he had nothing to his name or anything to show. You see, my late father always say that he is a successful man and when I ask him how he qualifies that, he simply said … “I don’t owe anyone, anything”. You see, my dad don’t have much to put in his basket to measure his success …  he was not like Branson, Gates, Ma, Zuckerberg or Jobs … all he ever had was his years of hard work.

My point is … you don’t have to be like Branson, Gates or Ma to be successful. You don’t have to have something to your name, you don’t have to measure success like the big boys and if you have nothing to show, that is absolutely OK … you are successful by your own measures.

So back to the question … am I successful? By my own measures of time, health, family, friends and maybe some other small little things ... yes, I am successful. But if you were to ask how successful I am ... then, like my dad, I have nothing to my name and I don’t have anything to show.