What Is Success?

by Patrick Liew on September 25, 2017

In a statement on Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he would nominate Mr Tan Chuan-Jin as the new Speaker of Parliament.

The announcement started a flurry of discussions, including speculations about rationale of the Prime Minister’s proposal.

At the heart of the discussions, there’s a major issue that we should come to grips with. An issue that may influence the solidarity, strength and sustainability of our country.

The question that we need to ask ourselves is: What is success?

Should there only be one definition for success?

To better define success, we should determine what should NOT be the definition of success.

Success should not be defined by jobs, careers, and workplaces.

Or about achieving a higher position without consideration for others or worst, at the expense of others and leaving them behind in life.

Success should not be about a person’s position, personal profit, power, possession, prestige, pleasure, and privilege.

Success should not be a zero sum game. You don’t have to lose for someone to win.

You can win while at the same time, help others to win. That way, everybody can enjoy a bigger win.

Success should be about how a person makes full use of what he has to help improve the people and environment around him.

Therefore, success should have many definitions.

It should be framed from the perspective of the person’s unique personality, strengths, values, talents, and pursuits.

Success should be about being able to pursue different pathways to achieve different destinations of excellence.

Success should be measured from the person’s contributions to his family, community, economy, country and the world around him.

For example, does he go out of the way to put to right many of the wrongs that cross his path?

How does he address social injustice in the world?

Success is about stretching your potential to make a positive impact on the people and environment around you.

Without doing that, then your version of success would be like a morning dew.

The morning dew would glow but for only a short moment.

When the sun of reality shines on the morning dew, it would soon disappear.

It would not leave behind a single trace that’s worth any meaning, purpose and significance.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Life is FUNtastic!


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