Success Is Based on Perception
Some people think it’s money. For fishermen it’s just the catch that day and quick money. After that, crab curry in the evening with his family. Buying a motor boat or two would define success to him. And he is very happy. The work in the seas is very challenging, though. For agricultural folks, it would mean constant work or daily wage obtained for back breaking work. Making more than minimum wage for a continuous eight hours would give them satisfaction. His idea of success would be to have a team of 10-20 laborers working under him. Then he can do contract work for landlords, family farms or set up horticulture. For a software engineer, it would be to become a lead engineer and eventually a software architect would be considered success. A very few in Sri Lanka have done so. There is also the option in this particular career path to become a manager and a run a team for a leading IT company like Virtusa to get their projects done.
Some people have ideas like setting up a gas station. They consider it to be success defined. It is pretty funny when you take into consideration the odds of having a constant base of drivers who come to the station to refuel.
At the end of the day, success is perception. I graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities spending about $90,000 on my education. Even by American standards, this is a considerable sum. But then there are several people in Sri Lanka who have not heard of the University of Minnesota. Unless you tell them how much you spent, they would not be able to quantify the value of the education received by me. Even in the capital Colombo, there are so many people who have not heard of the University of Minnesota and how much it would cost to get a quality American education. So for these people they may perceive you as less successful because they just aren’t aware. Most people in Colombo seem to be as though they were in the boonies. Tell them that you worked at Wells Fargo and they would not bat an eyelid. In this case, the only way forward is to believe in yourself and project confidence without bothering about people’s perception of you. Another thing is that people tend to move on really quickly. Nobody knows you more than yourself.
People will forget the fancy car that you drive or the fact that you have two vacation homes. I know what you’re thinking, it would be best to spend time alone as people can drive you nuts. This is especially so if you are already successful. Some people think success about status and money, but it is hard to pick out a successful person by this exclusive definition. They might drive a Mercedes Benz, but have a disease that makes them able to eat only bread and water. The question to ask is how rich are you if you have all the money, but can’t enjoy the finer things in life.