I remember watching this TV commercial some years back. The scene is set in a normal city street where a fuzzy haired teenage boy riding his skateboard sees another guy on a motorbike and despises himself for not having a motorbike. The motorbike guy then sees another middle-aged man in the backseat of a swanky car with his wife and feels bad. The man in the car, who supposedly is a business honcho with a receding hairline, is then shown looking at that boy on the skateboard yearning a head full of hair.

The 30 second commercial is a very beautiful analogy of human desire and the circle of life.

suc·cess (noun) – 1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose

Success in lifeSuccess and failure are totally relative terms. Success is measured, in most cases, in terms of money and fame. A middle-class man living in a 3 bedroom apartment views an industrialist with a 50-acre mansion to be successful, whereas he himself is considered pretty successful by the man who drives his kids to school. In the instance of the TV commercial above, it is beautifully depicted how a true sense of accomplishment cannot come to anyone unless one realizes the beauty of the things they already have in life. This is not to say that one should not aspire to achieve higher and better goals. Life is a constant state of change and that change should reflect in an upward arrow on the graph. However, in the constant pursuit of higher goals, one should not miss out on enjoying the present moment. Because the present is all that we have. At the time when the past happened, it was the present then, which is gone now; and when future will take place it will happen in the form of the present.

Learning from the past, living in the moment, being happy for all that we have and staying hopeful while working towards a better future is the key to a happy and content life. A truly successful life.

fail·ure  (noun) – 1. Lack of success

The very definition of the word failure is given in relation to success. Failure is not absolute. It is just a perceived state of being in relation to an already accepted idea of success. If success is not defined, failure does not exist. If the very attempt at achieving something is considered to be of value, then any unsuccessful attempt will not be eligible to be termed as a failure. If all the energies and efforts are concentrated on the process and not the end result, the process is bound to be more fruitful and rewarding; thus eliminating failure from the whole equation. Some people will disagree saying too many failures and no success cannot be of any value. If you’re being unsuccessful at something for far too long, maybe you should try something else. That’s also a learning of value. It is just a matter of how you look at things. Moreover, we have numerous stories of people achieving great things by just not giving up. If you sit and start counting how many times you’ve failed rather than reflecting on what you’ve gained as a learning experience to help you move forward, you’re sure to get taken down.

If you truly believe in something, go for it. Don’t think whether you’ll succeed or fail. Because the very journey in the pursuit of what you really want might bring you greater successes than you’ve ever thought. Don’t die wishing you should’ve done this or could’ve done that.

Now, let’s evaluate success and failure once more:

suc·cess (noun) – 1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose

The journey is the purpose. You already succeed the moment you gather the courage to follow your heart. Don’t be afraid of the bumpy ride. Just keep moving forward. Your journey will inspire others and there’s no greater success than that.

fail·ure  (noun) – 1. Lack of success

It is irrelevant.

So the things to do in order to lead a content and happy life:
  • If you’re the kid on the skateboard, enjoy the wind in your hair while you ride.
  • If you’re the guy on the bike, enjoy your youth and your motorbike.
  • If you’re the man in the car, enjoy with your beautiful family and be proud of the achievements resulting from your hard work.

Be happy today. Do what you want. Enjoy what you have. Because one day we’ll all be gone.