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Honestly, what is success?

I saw a meme recently that says, “According to how I planned my life in secondary school, this year I am supposed to get married. However, I am not even a girlfriend or a fiancé.”

This reminded me of all the plans we had when we were still in high school. You would sit and see your life as a straight line. The plan would look like this; after high school, I will go to the USA and do my bachelor’s degree, and by the age of 23, I will be a manager in a well-known company. At 25, I will get married and have my first child at 26. By 30, I will graduate with a Ph.D.

These are the memorable moments that make me laugh. I cannot say that what we did was actually bad because we had dreams and hopes for the future. However, the moment you realize that this life changes in the blink of an eye, the pressure of success can be intense.

Once you finish high school, you experience high expectations to succeed in ways even your family or friends did not do.

If you are the one who completed university, your family expects you to be the one bringing a lot of money home regardless of your monthly income. You will find yourself contributing to your siblings’ school fees, buying groceries, etc.

While your family sees you as a successful child they have, you on the other side, are broke and have many debts from friends. The pressure of being successful becomes real because of how you are being treated at home.

However, we should shed light and accept the fact that sometimes we also put pressure on ourselves due to unrealistic expectations driven by social media.

You find people your age claiming that they are earning millions within a month, and instead of having a clear goal and moving on to your rhythm in life, you start overdoing everything in the hope of being like them.

You lose a sense of stability and start moving from one company to another because you think you will get more money. You don’t focus on what you love or want to accomplish in life, but instead, wherever you feel like you can find money, you go without thinking.

As time goes by, you experience mental illness such as depression or anxiety. You lose your self-esteem and have sleep problems that interfere with your overall well-being. Other people’s definition of success becomes your worst enemy.

Even though life changes abruptly, there are different strategies that can be used to manage the pressure of being successful and living a happy life without depression, feeling useless, or failure.

The first thing is to define your success based on your own values and aspirations rather than external expectations. You have to identify what matters to you in terms of happiness, fulfillment, and personal growth.

It is better to understand that setbacks are part of the journey and provide valuable learning experiences. Your life is not a straight line like you used to imagine in high school. Resilience and the ability to bounce back from challenges are crucial to succeed.

As a young person, you should explore various interests and passions. Sticking to one thing brings disappointment when you don’t succeed in it. Allow yourself to learn, grow, and accept challenges. This will lead to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Furthermore, it is good to stop comparing yourself to others and celebrate your small wins. Walk at your own pace and be patient. Spend quality time doing activities that bring joy and relaxation, prioritize your self-care, and maintain healthy relationships.

Remember that the pressure to be successful is often caused by external factors. Set clear goals and have plans to achieve those goals. Do things that make you happy and never allow yourself to be drained by other people’s success. Work hard and wait for your turn.

Straight out of Twitter