He was the topper of our school.
The teachers loved him.
The kids adored him.
And that included me as well.
He was tall, really tall.
And he had really long hair.
Which, I thought, added to the enigma that he was.
I remember one day, I asked him, “How come you have such long hair?”
It was a stupid question.
An excuse, frankly.
To speak to him.
He replied, “In the time I go to the barber’s shop, I can complete one more chapter for the exam. So I don’t bother.”
I remember, standing there stunned, in awe.
So busy with pursuing his goal that he couldn’t care less about these trivial things in life.
THIS IS SUCCESS, I told myself.
And for the next decade, I followed that definition of success.
Being busy. Being productive. Ignoring the trivial things in life.
Blocking my day, every single hour.
As if I wanted to impress him – my invisible teacher.
And then the definition of success changed.
For the next decade, I spent all my time with people, as a leader, a manager.
Trying to help them get better at their work.
Their trivial things became my job.
That became my success. Their success.
Today, I don’t want to be busy.
Boredom gives me joy.
Looking at a free calendar gives me joy.
The trivial things give me joy.
It is okay to have a definition of success that keeps changing.
While the presence of success or the desire of it can be constant, its definition needn’t be.
It’s okay if it changes for you.
What is NOT okay is to know that something is not your success anymore, and yet continuing on the path.