Why Success Needs To Be Redefined

What’s your definition of success? When someone is crossing the finishing line? Think about that moment of glory? How long does it last? Seconds! Then? It’s over.

A few days ago, a reader was kind enough (or should I say brave enough?) to write me a comment on my last post. I was so glad that it was well-received. When someone makes an effort to write you a reply, it’s always appreciated.

There, I briefly touched on the idea of worthiness we often see on social media. Why do I believe it should come under fire? Well, too much emphasis has been placed on the outcome or the result, whereas, the boring part, the process or the work done behind the scenes has been largely played down or ignored.

Like right now, I’m in the process of looking for a job – from preparing a CV, writing and re-writing cover letters to going to interviews etc. Of course, the final goal, the ultimate destination I want to arrive at is landing a job I like.

To manage my own expectations, I’ve learned to let go of them just that. If I don’t, I’ll be like the way I used to be – being hijacked by the result. Over time, when a desirable outcome doesn’t come soon enough, you become more and more anxious, discouraged and paralyzed. Then? You start thinking about giving up.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done. To be fair, I didn’t become this “carefree” or “careless” person overnight. It came with experience. That is not to say, I don’t have my moment. I still do. But it’s just when I have “one of those days”, I’m now able to be keep its duration to a minimum.

Sometimes, you just have to suck it up, grin and bear it. Don’t leave too much head space for over-thinking. A good trade-off for experience is that once learned, it’ll become one of your skill-set for life. From there, you can go on raising your game and lifting the bar higher.

To be honest, when I finish one job application, I then quickly move on to the next one. I’m a strong advocate of that. Why do I think it’s a good strategy? The reason is simple. Because life goes on. The earth continues to move at its own pace. It doesn’t stop for your sake or anyone else’s. The trick is, when you are on par with the universe’s speed – not one step ahead or two steps behind, but in parallel, and guess what?! When a reality sets in, more often than not, you’re more likely to be surprised than disappointed.

I know it may sound crazy (perhaps even sickening) but I actually quite enjoy this painstaking job seeking process. I love spending hours working on one cover letter. I love the fact that many people out there want the same job as much as I do. It brings out the competitiveness in me. It makes me want to try harder and harder. This is how I see it: For each job application sent means one more vote counted towards my next dream job. If it’s going to take another 20 or 50 to get there, so be it. Bring it all on.

It’s funny, it’s been almost a week since I was made redundant, I’ve actually worked longer hours than when I was in my previous job. As they say, looking for a job is a job in itself. It can’t be more true. Another interesting thing I’ve found is: Every time I thought I’d written an error free (or near perfect) cover letter, only later did I discover some holes in it. It goes to show, there’s always a room for improvement.

If we can re-define success as something that is in the process, not necessarily in the end result, then it’ll leave some far-reaching and lasting effects. At least, in my book, success won’t look like something so remote, unattainable or out of reach.

Right now, I only look back when I need to find ways of improvement. What about you? If you’re a student, perhaps success to you is about finishing one essay and improving the next one from there. If you’re a new blogger on the block, perhaps success to you is about writing a quality post and improving the next one from there.

I’m pleased to say that as I write this, I’ve already finished 4 more job applications. I’ll continue this momentum as I go on exploring my next career path, wherever it may be. I expect some twists and turns in the pursuit. After all, a career trajectory is a curve, not a straight line…

Till next time, watch this space!

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