Sam Lee Mohan, Founder & CEO at GBC, 4 min read
A few days ago, I met an old friend that I have not seen in over two decades and what I recall of him was that he was destined for greatness. He did achieve greatness…well, certainly in my view anyway. His net worth is £120 million. We got talking about his journey to what I would call success however Paul did not see it that way. Whilst Paul was financially free, he seemed unhappy and troubled. He believed he needed more to be happy. He believed that he needed to have more than what he currently has and then only he will find happiness. That ALARMINGLY got me thinking…” WOW!!!…are we so focused on what we don’t have that we sabotage our happiness that should stem from what we do have?”
Economics believes that human ‘wants’ are insatiable, and a lot of human behavioural analysis claims that human beings can never be satisfied. A statement, perhaps we can say a common mantra which people use – which has become a hackneyed word – is the coinage from Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist; everyone now says ‘Oliver Twist wants more’. This they say to defend their lack of contentment, failing to realize or acknowledge the place of being happy with what you currently have.
A lot of times, what we make our point of concern is that which we do not have. We look at others and we see what they have achieved; we look at our mates and our friends and we see how far they have gone and we descend into depression and self-pity. When this happens, we forget to realize that we have come a long way ourselves, and we allow the pace at which others run their race affect the pace with which we run ours. In life, we all have different goals and aspirations, and we also have different abilities and capabilities as well. Looking at others who are doing seemingly well, can only sabotage our own success; paying more attention to what we do not have can only also sabotage our happiness too.
Life by design or by its nature never gives everyone all that they desire; even the richest men and women in the world today do not have all that which they desire. The secret to life is not wanting it all, the secret to life is not in chasing futilely after everything, as all these will hardly give anyone satisfaction. The secret to life is in knowing that you have something, and being grateful for that which you have. One thing most successful and happy people have learnt is that not every opportunity is theirs to chase and not everything is theirs to have; knowing this helps keeps their life in line and it helps keep their head straight.
While it is a crime against yourself, your abilities and humanity as a whole to be a mediocre, it is similarly unhealthy to believe that what you have is not enough, and that you have to keep running a rat race for you to get enough. Hear is the shocker: no matter how hard you try, you can never have enough. While it is good to always aim to be the best, to always work towards being successful – no one said it is not – you should always take a moment to appreciate yourself, appreciate how far you have come; this will help you in living a very productive life. While appreciating yourself, you then look forward to what is ahead. Always looking ahead or looking at how the achievement of others dwarfs yours will not get you far. Everyone has talents and potentials that can make them stand out, all that needs to be done is to discover that talent and unlock the true potentials they possess. It is also important to always stay positive and never allow other people’s achievement to make you feel less of yourself.
It is the popular Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah that said: “those who are blessed with swiftness have flown before, let them go. I’ll travel slowly and I too will arrive”.
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