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Life Lesson

Inner Conversation



The orthodox definition of success is attainment of fame, wealth or power. A successful person is usually one with a large bank account, famous or powerful. As children, we hand pick these iconic successful persons in our societies and carve our dreams in the direction of attaining a status equal to or higher than those of these moguls we idolized. Our society taught us that once we did not have an exorbitant bank account, then we missed the achievement mark. In order to give you an understanding of what I am talking about, I will define wealth as commonly stated; it is a state of having much money. If success as society defines is dependent on the notes saved in the bank; what then is the baseline and limit of success. Aren’t numbers infinite? When does the pursuit end? When will enough be enough? Look around you and take a look at all the people in this mad race for success. When you get down to the real deal, are their lives that enviable? Are they really happy? The sad definition society has placed on success is ruining the lives of many people. It is breeding this dangerous ruthlessness which destroys everything in its way. Today’s success is based on a relativity theory. It is based on this numerical comparison of possessions; as such the competition is more of an egoistic match for addition than a purpose driven journey towards a positive contribution to society. The messy success we chase today seeks to covet; it is envious, dubious, deceitful and actually restless. It is an era of do anything possible for the next buck. Though the numbers increase, we move on to a stage where we need more numbers to catch up with our competitors. At the end of the day, what was the essence of this pursuit? Was ones whole life to resolve around increasing numbers in a bank? When you leave this world, what would one say was your contribution?
In a time when everyone appears soulless, we must redefine success. The future belongs to those who will go out of their way to give the next generation a reason to hope. Record this in your mind today, any success one gets at the cost of one’s self respect, integrity and principle is not success. What will profit you to gain this world at the expense of your soul? To be genuinely successful, strive not to be the first, strive to be the best you can be. There is a big difference; I will show you. I always wanted to spend my whole life studying. I even aspired to attain Nobel Prize. I competed with my peers for positions, prizes and honors. At some point I found myself in this uncomfortable position. I had worked hard. I had the great scores and all that, but it was getting me nowhere. At the end of the day, it just looked like another piece of paper that will get lost in time. At this critical point, several questions came to my mind. I asked myself what the certificates I had achieved and wanted to achieve meant to me. Were they anything more than labels, tittles and papers? Were all the schools to shut on me today, will I still keep learning? What was all this learning for? As a kid raised in Cameroon, I realized we get locked into this competition for trophies and tittles, but at the end of the day nothing of what we attain has any substance or value. All the degrees and titles we seem to be fighting for adds nothing to who we are or our nation. Why should a country with so many well educated people still be where it is? Are we striving to be first or to be best? First is a title, but best is an attitude. If the government won’t hire the youths of Cameroon; does that mean we won’t offer service of any kind to our nation. I would know that, I went through the tough process of unsuccessfully trying to attain a job. Nepotism, tribalism and corruption pursue the first and not the best. For a while I hated and criticized the government as many do; until I realized if I like several others do nothing but complain; nothing will change.
I have come to redefine success as that state one attains where they receive a remarkable ability to be more generous and loving towards their fellow man. Will genuine success increase your wealth? Yes it will. When the wealth you have is working for you and not you working for it, then you have succeeded. When you go to bed everyday knowing you did your best, you have succeeded. We have to learn to integrate into a functional world, but still be sensible enough to preserve our individuality. We have to define a singular success that brings us smiles and blissful rest at dusk. A matured and sensible success is one that not only enhances the good in us, but pushes us to desire genuine growth in others. A genuine success is void of envy, covetousness, insomnia, restlessness, discontent, unhappiness and unscrupulousness. Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents were used in a way that served others. You do not need to be part of a big process or thing in order to succeed, the smallest thing done out of honesty can get you there.
“Society today focuses so much on fitting into modern trends and being a part of a superior group or organization, that they forget how to be an individual. They forget how to set their own trends and create their own organizations. They forget that a superior being in one corporate organization, firm, or social club is far less substantial then being a genuine and original person of superiority to the entire world... And what some don't understand is that the simplest thing can alter the outcome of situations that can affect the entire world... A smile is contagious. Laughter strengthens the heart. Compassion saves lives. And patience can be the defining factor in making good decisions. The mind is a beautiful and powerful thing. Frame its painting and display it for the world to see and strain its muscles until they give out. You only have one life to live. Live it to the fullest. Fear nothing, embrace challenge, and hold no regrets." By Tyler Tureno
If achievement should ever be graded based on numbers, it should be on how many lives we touched and not the numbers we got sitting in a bank.
“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.”
― Bessie Anderson Stanley
Redefine success. Write down you own success and start the journey to attaining it. Live in the success of truth.


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