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"How do you define success for yourself?"

- Do you ever worry that your hard work won’t be paid off?

- Why would I? Regardless of the outcome, I know it will add tremendous value to my personal growth so it will always be worth it.

- Hmm… but if the outcome isn’t what you hope for, won’t you wonder that you could have done nothing and it might have resulted in a better outcome?

- You see, that’s exactly where you’re currently stuck. It’s the lens that we choose to see through. Your focus is on the obstacles while my focus is on the possibilities. Two people can be in the same situation and experience completely different outcomes depending on the perspective they choose. So no, I don’t ask myself "what if”—I reflect on what's happened and learn from it then ask myself "what's next?”.

- I see… Do you fail often?

- Haha, a lot. A lot. A lot. A lot. In so many aspects of life. But what's interesting is that others only see my highs, not my lows. If I were to count, my highs would probably only make up 10% of my lows but it appears the other way around. The moral of the story is that it doesn't matter how many times you fail, as long as you learn something from it, pick yourself up and keep moving forward, that is a gain.

- Ahhh… I like how you think. So do you believe that success always comes with tradeoffs?

- I think we all want success however we define it, but we want it because it's not easy to attain. If it was easy, no one would desire it. So by definition, if success is desirable, it’s going to be hard to get. That means it comes with doing the things that most people wouldn't want to do and experiencing the suffering that most people would want to avoid. Far too often, everyone wants it but few people want to work for it. I believe that if we want to welcome success, we need to welcome the fact that it's a package deal with other things that may not be desirable. If we don't want to work hard for it, that’s fine, but we need to lower our desire to match how much we're willing to put in the work.

- That makes sense. So how do you define success for yourself?

- Great question. When I know that my actions align with my core values—it may sound simple but that to me is success.


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