Think I finally reached a stage of equilibrium. Having spent almost 2/3rd of my life rebelling against every possible thing in my life, my childhood, my parents, the state, the system. Now, I am chilled out. I think it is more like, okay been there and done that;
It is like I have a different mission in life now and one that does not focus on me anymore, but the four souls that I have by the Grace of God, brought into this world; and I have to honor that responsibility.
I spent my childhood dreaming, my teenage years rebelling, my 20s and 30s focusing on my career and struggling against the system that I felt was unjust. Now in my 40s I just feel okay, I'm chilled, like classical music. Andante.
What do I mean by a state of equilibrium? Well, it is like this feeling of steadiness, no more turmoil, turbulence, instability. It is just calm waters. I think I feel I have achieved those things I set out to achieve for myself.
I believe success is measured not by your achievements against others but it is measured according to the goals and standards that you set for yourself. Of course Muslims are meant to say that success is when you obtain Jannah but, none of us know whether we will or not hence, how do we measure our success for something that we struggle to do everyday without knowing the result until we are like...gone into the next life. Like it or not, we have to measure success according to what is available for us in this world.
I think people often measure success in reference to other people. They look at 'bad' people that have done 'bad' things and decide, "well, I am not bad after all" but why? Why should we measure ourselves in reference to others. Why can't we measure ourselves in reference to certain concepts or principles or goals that we set for ourselves. Why should we think I am successful because I have achieved more than person A, B or C?
I mean when I won that one award for best oral presentation, that was enough for me. Perhaps it wasn't enough for some others who might want to keep winning and winning but for me, hey! I have always wanted to win an award since I was 10 years old. I never manage to go on stage to get any sort of award before, and God gave it to me some what 20+ years later and I was satisfied with it. I think that is one of the characteristics that is similar between me and my other half; he always tells me that he has achieved more than what he ever set out to achieve. Perhaps most people might say, "what! well...why did he stop playing music? he could have become an artist or a successful band or whatever blah blah..." but he never wanted all that.
I can understand, I can relate to it. Like him, I too am satisfied with achieving whatever goal I set myself for. I have published in the BMJ, I have published in the Lancet; and perhaps people might say "well, you should publish another 10 more in Lancet" and I know...people might say that is ambition and I am not saying that I don't want to (if given the opportunity) but would it give me more satisfaction than what I have? Perhaps not. I am satisfied and that is all that matters; personal satisfaction.
How do you convey or impart that kind of feeling of 'personal satisfaction' especially to the new generation. For them to do something out of that wanting to achieve it for themselves, not for glory, not for others, not for praise but for something inside of us that just feels 'hah....I've achieved what I wanted to achieve and it feels good inside."