There was a time in my life (a very recent time!) when I spent quite a lot of time stressing about how fast my colleagues were moving with their research while my work…. Well, it showed some significant tortoise tendencies. Even though my colleagues work in very different sub-fields compared to my own, I could not help compare myself to them. But by now I just thank God for introspection. Reflecting on my own work, my own goals, my own reasons, I could ultimately acknowledge – to myself — that I was doing what no human being should do because “Comparison is an act of violence against the self”. Ultimately I concluded that I must define my success, which makes me think of that Caper song…
Haven’t we all made it?
We all have a different opinion of what Success looks like, feels like, tastes like and how to attain it. And we certainly don’t all have the same experience that leads to attaining it. Funny enough though, we know success when we see it. Or do we?
The #PeopleWhoThinkTheyHaveMadeItInLife has somewhat disturbed me. For some reason I cannot get over the thought that no one -according to this trend- has made it in life because the minute you achieve something somebody has the guts to ask “so you think you have made it in life”?
What if it’s no joke and whoever coined that phrase to you thinks you haven’t made it? Does what you had defined as success stop being something you’re proud of because it’s different from what the next person perceives as success? A lot of people have used this phrase particularly when I would be telling them about my research and what I’ll ultimately achieve through it.
Subconsciously I started doubting my work and the small yet very large milestones I’ve overcome so far.
“Mama I made it!!”
It’s no secret that I want to make a difference in my sphere of influence, I mean I don’t want to just exist and breathe for the sake of being alive. What I have come to realize though is that whatever makes Casper Nyovest scream “Mama I made” it is not necessarily what makes Barack Obama utter the same words (If he would ever) thus the need to define my own with my own words and in my own time. Will it be my success or our success? (Our, being the people whose lives I aspire to impact and hopefully change for the better through knowledge and skill transfer.)
I suspect (I hope!) after every data point has been “raised”, “analyzed” and submitted (mid-year, 2017 ) I’ll boldly declare “Mama I made it!!” And then? Keep on updating my definition of success.