Select Page

Many people are addicted to the pursuit of success. The irony is that while most people relate success to wealth, those who appear to be living the “dream” and are “successful” may not always be the happiest people. So how does one really find true success? Can true success and genuine happiness co-exist?

On this blog, let me share 10 truths that probably not a lot of people talk about. Inputs found here are a product of my realizations and insights in my 30+ years of existence on Earth. I am happy to share tiny bits of insights that may hopefully align with your own sentiments in the pursuit of true success.

1. Success looks different for everyone.

I know everyone is urging you to dream big and be successful but I learned that success is something that is highly subjective. There’s really no limit as to how big or simple success can be – they will always be valid. 

Oftentimes, people relate success to something that is grand, loud and external. For many, success means money, power, authority, fame but for some, success could also mean freedom, pursuing a passion, happiness, inner peace, being able to do what he/she wants to do in life. While it’s true that society has its definition of success, there are really no universally accepted standards of success. You attach your own meaning to success. You decide how you want to live your life and the kind of success you want to have – no one else.

For me, true success is something that feels good from within. If living a peaceful life, owning a small house by the beach, running a small plant shop, biking around town and living with your loved one appear fulfilling, then this can be a valid vision of success. As you age, you realize that success does not always need to be loud and external, it can also be something discreet and internal.

If you want to arrive at a success-guaranteed future, the key is to really look inward and intentionally ask yourself “what does success look like to me?” Do not be tricked at following others’ vision of success that won’t probably make you happy. Take time to think. You might realize true success is a lot closer than you initially imagined.

2. Success comes in different timing.


A delay in dreams may not necessarily mean you will not be successful. Some people may find success earlier than others but that doesn’t mean those who waited longer won’t find their own success. For instance, some may already land a great career after graduation while others don’t. But eventually, they also make it.

There’s really no definite timeline for success – we all have different timelines. Just like some people may marry before you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find your own true love. The point is that – stop comparing your life with other people. We all are unique individuals and we all have our own unique paths and timelines. Trust your own unique path.

3. Continue to discover your true authentic self.


You cannot be truly successful if you lack a basic understanding of your true authentic self. Acknowledging your own strengths and weaknesses, traits, tendencies and potentials are key to finding your true success.

If you know yourself too well, it will be easier for you to say “yes” things to things you want to do and “no” to things that are not aligned with who you are. Getting to know your true authentic self gives you a compass on how and where you should go.

Before targeting something, take the time to look inward and ask it what it needs. I cannot tell you how many times I have been given advice by many people on how I should pursue my career. But at the end of the day, it is me who will decide. And, being obedient to my true authentic self is more important to me than pleasing others’ opinion. In my case, refuse to live a mediocre based on society’s standards of a “good life”. I create my own life and I decide how I want to live it.

It’s not bad to listen to advice – it’s good. But more than just listening to what everyone else is saying, I hope you’ll have the courage to know what you want and do it. You’ll shine best when you let your authentic self take over. Do things that give you meaning, those that spark joy and give you genuine happiness – it will be more fulfilling.

4. Your career is not a chance – it is a choice.


You can explore many different career paths. The world is wide and skills can be acquired. You have a choice.

I hope you choose a career that will not only make you successful but also a career that will make you genuinely happy. If you are not happy with what you do for that 8 long hours of your 24 hours per day, then you really have to evaluate your career choice. Do not lose the best years of your life living a life you are not happy about.

I am a firm believer of YOLO (you only live once). It’s such a cliche, but it’s the truth. You will only be 25 once, 2021 will only come once. If you’re not happy with your year now, then there’s really no turning back – Make the most of each year. It will only come once. While you are young, healthy and able, do things that matter to you. Live a good life.

5. Choose a company that is compatible with your values.


There are a lot of companies that you can choose from. If you want to find true success, then not just look for a high-paying career or employer. Do not just base your selection on big salaries or benefits because there are many companies that can give you just that.

Many people often make a mistake landing a career and aim for success in the wrong company. It’s important to choose a company based on values and the business philosophy that you will as well embody. Certainly, it’s more fulfilling to work for a company that is compatible with your values and principles in life. 

To find true and lasting success, there has to be a good match between you and the employer. Being employed also requires being culture-fit and personality-fit. For instance, I am someone who values so much inner peace, work balance and sustainable living. Hence, any company that challenges that, is not a good fit for me. I want to be happily employed in a company that will allow me to be me, grow, learn and be happy. And I have a choice.

6. No matter whats steps you take, you will fail at some point.


Of course, you will not be 100% all the time. Failing is part of life. It’s inevitable. It’s a reality.

Acknowledge that we all will fail at some point. No one is exempted from failing. And when this happens, allow yourself to take a step back. It’s okay to be weak sometimes. You are given countless times to get back up and try again. Failing is part of life.

For instance, you will not be hired for every job application that you go into – that’s impossible. No matter if you are the most intelligent, most competent, most professional person, everyone experiences not being hired in a job that you have applied for. Despite all the efforts, you sometimes go home empty-handed. See, you will fail at some point. But just because something is not possible today doesn’t mean you can’t have it in the future. What might not be possible today maybe eventually can happen. Just keep going.

What matters is that you were brave enough to know what you want and you actually did something to go get it. Going after something you like is already a sign of bravery and in this lifetime, we have to be brave countless times. We have to be brave in doing what we think will be best for us. If we fail, then we fail. But be brave anyway. Here are some helpful boosts that can pull you away from pessimistic attitude:

7. Life is uncertain. No one knows about the future.


You can plan all you want but not everything we planned can happen exactly the way we planned it. COVID-19 is a great example. Nobody anticipated that the world will stop in an instant because of this pandemic. It’s really a game-changer. And this reality also teaches us to make the most of every moment, because life is so uncertain.

In fact, I would have never predicted that I will enter a career in digital marketing – I am a tourism graduate. But ever since the pandemic, I pivoted to digital marketing which opened new windows for me to grow professionally.

This is my unique path – I went to Cebu in August 2019 to work at Kapwa Travel as a Group Tour Specialist but COVID-19 happened and everything changed. For over a year now, I mostly do content marketing for international clients. This is something I never expected and it is a real turnaround in my career. My job today allowed me to expand my skillset and tap other potentials I never knew existed. I’m grateful for a new career in digital marketing.

8. Accumulate small wins today.


Doing small actions today can give greater outcomes in the future. We never know when we will need other skill sets so it pays off to just welcome any learning opportunities. That’s why it is 

Learning is a never-ending process. It happens every day. It is always good to welcome opportunities, learn new skills, take small steps because there might be a situation in the unknown future when our small wins can give us a big win. Do small things today that your future self will thank you for.

9. There are an array of soft skills that you will need to become successful.


Soft skills are non-technical skills that you nurture within you. It is something that cannot be imposed on you by anyone or it’s something that you cannot learn overnight, you have to cultivate them within you.

Soft skills are personal attributes that relate to how you work. And sometimes, it’s actually the soft skills that can help you be successful in life. Four of the important soft skills that I think are highly important are: flexibility, people skills, willingness to learn and commitment to your chosen industry.

10. Life is about enjoying the ride and not just the destination (success).


Your life does not happen when you are already successful. Life is happening every day. You don’t have to wait for that desired future to find true success and happiness. Anytime today, tomorrow and at any chapters of your story, you can be happy. You’ll find “true success” if you know how to find consciously find it.

True success is an on going journey, not a destination or an employment status. Celebrate small wins today, find joy in tiny little things and live the life you wanted instead of comparing it to that of others. Live in the moment and continue to discover what for you is a “true success”.