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What is Success?

by Michael Teh

Don’t we all want to be successful in one way or another? And yes, there are many ways that could lead us to success. Personally, one of the most important pathways is to be goal oriented. However, in my journey to success, through the ups and downs,  I began to realize there was more to life than just goals and achievements.

“I’d say that through this journey of self-realization, I realized that there was more to life than just achieving goals, wealth, and financial gains. With this new revelation, I started to feel so much joy, love, contentment, and fulfilment
like never before, and this is what being successful should mean.”

Let’s be honest, we all want to be successful in life and that’s the hard truth. However, the definition of success varies for each individual. That said, what does success mean to you?

In my humble opinion, being successful is for one to always be contented and happy with life, regardless of what he/she is venturing into, who he/she chooses to become as well as the outcome of one’s pursue and circumstance in life.

However, prior to my self-realization, I had always defined success as one dimensional – to gain material and financial wealth for security reasons; having high self-esteem and wealth for my family and my future generations. Hence, it led me to become an investor and entrepreneur.

Throughout my journey as an investor, I have made some monstrous gains and substantial growth in funds. Given the success, I was brimming with positivity at life, but I was never contented, resulting in me pursuing more aggressive investments. I was just chasing for more wealth and “success” through acquiring more material assets and increasing my financial income.

 

Chasing after “success” had become an obsession where I found myself spending more of my time and energy focussing on investing and trading on the stock markets and buying businesses. It came to a point, due to excessive risk taking and commitments, I became overwhelmed with immense stress and fear, and I could not manage my ego. As a result, I found myself constantly arguing with my family and business associates which led to disharmony.

However, my journey of self-realization has significantly changed and shaped my definition of success. I’d say that through this journey of self-realization, I realized that there was more to life than just achieving goals, wealth, and financial gains. With this new revelation, I started to feel so much joy, love, contentment, and fulfilment like never before, and this is what being successful should mean.

In comparison to when I pocketed my first million dollar when I was 26, when I experienced the peak of prosperity in life, this new definition of success is different as I learned how to be still, grounded, blissful and contented.

However, before one can determine the definition of success, one must first understand or grasp the meaning of failure. Like how the colour white cannot be understood without knowing what the colour black is. Neither can you understand the feeling of love without knowing the feeling of fear. Light cannot exist or be fully understood without its counterpart, darkness. In the journey of life, we will experience the duality.

With that understanding, I strongly believe that failure is the brick-and-mortar that builds and defines success. In other words, failures bring us one step closer to
winning the game of life – by experiencing the feeling of what success really is. That said, failure in life is expected, however, remember that it will always pave the way to success.

Meanwhile, do you know that happiness and success go hand-in-hand? This is because happiness is success. In life, what we are seeking are both happiness and contentment, ultimately leading to peace and harmony.

But because of the circumstances and the worldly consciousness that we are going through, we have lost touch of ourselves and are drawn into the materialistic world. We have been pre-conditioned to perceive success when we obtain what we desire (Material, Relationships, Money) through hard work and that is when we can truly find happiness and contentment.

“However, before one can determine the definition of success, one must first understand or grasp the meaning of  failure. Like how the colour white cannot be understood without knowing what the colour black is.”

However, this is not right as this conditioning will only lead you down the road of despair and dissatisfaction.

So how do we attain both success and happiness? First, we need to redefine the formula of life’s successes. We have to change the model from “Have-Do-Be” to “Be-Do-Have”, and seek first to “BE” happy, then “DO” (the action/activity that will make you and the people around you feel happy), and you will be amazed as the results will be different. That said, the “HAVE” material or success that you previously desired and longed for will also come to you naturally. Unfortunately, majority of the people nowadays have adopted the tilted model where they are conditioned to think that in order to “BE” happy, one must first “Have” the material/relationship/money, and subsequently do whatever it takes to “HAVE” them in order to “BE” happy.

In addition, through self-realization, it can guide you on your path to attain success and lasting happiness. At the same time, it is essential to cultivate the habit of maintaining balance in all aspects of your life as it would help you lead a successful life. When you can find your balance, and be mindful, being in the present becomes easier and consequently it will lead you to attain greater success and happiness in life. And to attain the skills to maintain balance in life, one shall utilize the power of meditation and self-realization.

And if you are seeking to find what true success really is, as well as finding balance in your life, allow me to journey with you in helping you to search for your success and true self.

Michael Teh, 8 August 2020