About Me

The Meat Or The Garnish?

What is your definition of success?

A Nokia ad essentially asks that question, and their "subjects" answer along the lines of:

  • Not getting cooped up for 8 straight hours in an office.
  • Having more time for the ones they love.
  • Having more time for the people and activities that matter.
  • Living for something more than the office cubicle.

These are the values and ideals of the changing generation. The generation that "gets" it. Sadly, though, a good number of people still don't get it. For them, success means more money in the bank, more "bling" to show off to other people, more toys, more cars, more things that don't satisfy.

In short, a good number of people still listen to the mantra of "I need to keep up with the Joneses" in their heads.

The sad part is that this is a very futile exercise. Someone wisely said that there's no point in trying to keep up with other people: someone will always be better than you, and someone will always do worse than you. The only benchmark that counts is your past milestone. While life is oftentimes likened to a marathon, it is best played like a good game of golf: your only worst enemy is YOU.

Thus, it bugs me when people compare themselves to others and strive to outdo them. It bothers me when people succumb to paying for a thousand-peso meal just because their college classmates ate at that restaurant. It bothers me when parents feel like a failure when their son's most bitter competitor for Summa Cum Laude passed the Medical Board while their son just became a licensed nurse.

The definition of success IS arbitrary. You have the choice what values will form the criteria of success for you. However, I would pity a man whose definition of success is shallow. At the end of the day, all those trophies, all those awards chased for themselves will be nothing but hollow icons of achievement with no lasting value.

Passion for an endeavor leads to excellence. Excellence leads to success. If you love what you do, if you love what you dream to build, you will succeed. But because the centerpiece is love for that endeavor, the awards, the accolades are only incidental.

But love the accolades and the awards as an end in itself, and you are bound to look back on an empty life.

So choose what counts. Choose the meat, not the garnish, and you'll find that you've lived your life more fully.

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