Having control over everything that affects my life has always been mandatory since I started my career. Efficiency and productivity too. Spending half of my life in a city that never sleeps, I was not only trained to meet expectations, but to exceed far and beyond them, which means constant pressure is a company that kept me awake at night.
My value was measured by the sales and amount of money into my bank account each month. I was under the belief that money makes the world go around, and indeed it is true that I became a slave for it. I relied on caffeine and sugar to cheer me up while trying to climb the ladder of success. At the same time, I was a rat running inside a wheel that’s getting me nowhere.
Along with society’s standards, I would compare my achievements with others.
As long as I remain on top, I am winning.
My measure of happiness depended on my boss’ recognition of a job well done, and when expectations are not met, punishing oneself is inevitable. I would continuously blame myself for not doing good enough. Before others do so, I would criticize myself finding every fault there is and apologizing for it. Anxiety quickly crept in like a dear friend, and surrendering and crying myself to sleep seemed to be the best solution. Or sometimes, as desperation and frustration came hand in hand, I vent out words I regret.
I became deaf to what my body and soul need at that time. I lost connection with myself, my best friends, and my family. I was too selfish to even love myself. Just when I thought I had it under control, I was actually losing sight over the most important thing – the life that I dream about. Before my eyes, my life was crumbling down.
Fortunately, I was granted countless chances to make it right. Lessons have been learned, and my arms remain open to any more adjustments needed. The next book I am working on is about letting go and finding the path to what the heart truly desires. I am sharing my personal stories and thoughts on how embracing uncertainties was the best advice I have made.
People can still have a vision of what they want to become and work towards it. By all means, reach for your goals and wildest dreams, but loosening up a little and making space for failures and reworking should be part of the plan too.
We were taught in school that the result is what matters. We were told to study hard to earn the top score. We get rewarded for the good results. But how about the journey? Isn’t the journey itself is the best teacher of all? Sure, I aced most of my subjects in school, but the most memorable memory was the day I failed Chemistry. With 75 as the passing grade, my professor gave me 74.
I knew then why I failed, but there were plenty of backstories that looking back from now, I can’t help but laugh. That failure taught me some of the biggest lessons of all time (e.g., Don’t steal your best friend’s crush, especially when the three of you are working in one wine-making project). It is with failure that you will discover more things about yourself to which acceptance is what comes after. And it is only by embracing uncertainties that you are turning these mistakes as lessons.
Happiness must not only revolve around the result but also in the journey itself. Traveling taught me to appreciate the journey – the long hours of traveling, and that the destination itself is only a bonus. If you don’t end up in where you’re supposed to be, it does not mean that you have failed and you have to accept that.
This book states my journey from quitting a stressful job, defining a new standard of success along with my pursuit of happiness, reconnecting with myself, important relationships, and working in a happy environment towards my ideal life. That sounds like a lot to take in, but hey, take it easy.
Remember to let go.