Success is in the eye of the beholder

What did you want to be when you were little? A fairy? A fireman? A policeman? Even perhaps a maid? Is that would would’ve made you happy or… successful? 

Today I was asked an interesting 2-part question:

Who do you think is great at life? What makes them successful?

Now, this is a question I’ve been dealing with a lot lately so it didn’t take me by surprise, however I still hadn’t managed to formulate a proper response for myself let alone for someone else!

As I sat there eating my lunch I realised I knew what I had to say, but was a bit afraid as it’s not an opinion most people share.

So I answered the first part and I said “happy people”. This for me is what makes someone great at life. However, my response needed elaboration; let me explain.

Most people think happy people have money – wrong! That’s what you think makes people happy, but I’ve realised over time that it’s not true.

When I said “happy” I was talking about those people who no matter what type of life they lead, they wake up every morning knowing how lucky they are. They live everyday overcoming obstacles and realising their own strength and potential. For me, being great at life has nothing to with money, but everything to do with integrity and happiness.

Someone can be waitressing their whole life and absolutely love it. They wake up everyday happy with what they’re doing which deserves the utmost respect. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but that’s because I am a different person, and just like people have different opinions on who is great at life, people have different opinions on who succeeds in life. Which leads to my response for the second part.

You earn heaps of money?! OMG you’re soooooo successful!!!

As we map out our path in life, we realise that becoming what we want to be may not be as easy or possible as we once thought. We hit walls, break bones, but worst of all we usually succumb to society and end up belittling jobs that are at times deemed unsuccessful.

Yet one thing our ego allows us to forget is that the world does not revolve around our opinion. After speaking with many people, everyone had different versions of success. And to say that someone is unsuccessful because they’re not living by your definition or by what society has painted as success is a tad elitist.

What constitutes success? Money? Fame? Your opinion? A big house? What? What makes one successful in life?

Not everyone can be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever else society has deemed important and respectable. Everyone has a job to do and all jobs need to be done. Every job is important, and just because you may be raking it in, does not make you better then me or anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, utmost respect if you have worked hard and are doing what you want and getting paid well for it! But you’re not more successful than the guy who decided he wanted to cook burgers for a living 😉

If I held everyone to my standard of success, I highly doubt I would think many are succeeding- I don’t think the majority of the world population speaks 5 languages!

So I guess what i’m trying to say with this long train of thought you’ve just read, is that if you’re happy doing what you love and are sharing that love with everyone else, you’re doing great at life and succeeding – not matter your pay, whether high or low.

 

 

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I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

Dear Luisito,

It’s been a long week without you, how are you? I hope you’re doing infinitely better now ❤

I still can’t believe you’re not here anymore, it feels so surreal. But I’m so glad that you’re in paradise enjoying all the love and hope you deserve. I realise that I didn’t verbally let you know how dear you were to me, but I know that actions speak louder than words and I hope that through my actions you knew that I cared and loved you. 

Even though I can’t see your face, I know that you are here listening (and reading) so I’d like to take the chance to tell you few things – just in case you don’t already know 😉 

You are my friend and always will be. I know we didn’t get forever like most friends do and I think that’s one of the things that pains me the most – the loss of a wonderful forever with you. After our first chat, I developed a map and timeline in my head about where we were going to go, what we were going to do and the memories we were going to create – Alas, that will no longer be, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that we shared great moments with so much laughter, honesty and love. I won’t forget, I promise.

I’m grateful. I am so grateful to have known such a beautiful person. Not only that, I’m so grateful that I got to know you. Not the persona you put on, but the you who was kind, gentle, incredibly intelligent and just pure niceness. You’re parents seriously did such an amazing job with you. You made it so easy to be weird and myself. It’s true when they say that time isn’t the measure of a friendship, rather the quality of the time you share.

You were amazing. Yep, you were amazing. Your laugh, your ukulele skills, your brain – the way you knew so many things was inspiring – especially coding! OMG you know I thought that was the coolest thing ever 😉 You have changed my life for the better and not a day will go by where my heart won’t miss that smile of yours.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to go through so much pain and sorrow. I’m sorry I couldn’t shine enough light for you to hold onto. I’m sorry I didn’t grab onto you in Grade 6 and never let go. But as I said, I am so grateful for the time we did get 🙂 

You had such a loving heart Luis, and I know that you are in a better place now, looking down on us, laughing at all the stupid stuff that we do and say. You will always be in my prayers, thoughts and in whatever I do: whether it be going to Bled, making my home a fish tank or eating lettuce, tomatoes and corn. So be at peace now, we will all take care of each other.

Even though I don’t when it’ll be, get ready – that massive hug is coming your way. 

Until I see you again,
Christina

Luis

In loving memory of Luis Jose Vega

Rest In Peace my Friend
See you soon

 

Out run death

I remember going to a funeral once where I was completely bewildered at the circumstances upon which this lovely man had met his death. He was fit, he was young and he was incredibly healthy, exercising everyday for at least 1 hour. So how? I asked myself. How did someone who took care of his body so well die of a heart attack? Which prompted me to question exercise all together.

We are constantly told that exercise is good for us – no scratch that – great for us! Doing around 30 minutes will  helps us with our weight, prevents cardiovascular diseases and best of all, it leaves us happy and “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t“.

Yet because of what had happened to this man, I was deterred from ever exercising again. If it didn’t help me live longer why do it? That was my life for the next few years. I ate whatever I wanted, watched whatever I wanted and didn’t even gain weight (Thank you metabolism!) Unfortunately this life was not meant to be forever.

I was in school one day and had to run for some ridiculous reason, only to find out that I couldn’t. Well I could but not very well. Having been such an active child I assumed my fitness level would stay the same (yes I was very naive) but like a lot of things I was wrong. My heart began to race, my body began to sweat and I couldn’t breathe properly. It was the most awful feeling and I vowed to do something about it. But what?

I had denounced exercise altogether so what could I possibly do? I researched and researched until I came to terms with the fact that I had to exercise. I was being told left, right and centre that it was the only way to not keel over after running 100m. So I expelled my hesitancies and began to exercise.

The1lit - out run death

I’ve kept it up over the past few years, going through some dry spells of course like everyone else, but I’ve realised that it is important for my health – for everyone’s health. I’ve come to terms with the fact that healthy people die and even though they were healthy and fit, that won’t prevent death when it comes knocking at your door.

I want to live. I want to experience life and if exercise has a way of helping I will take it. Even if it’s just a 10 minute run.

Images
1. Unsplash