You are a Success!

You are a Success!

I didn’t say ‘You are successful’. I chose my words carefully. Success is one concept that is difficult to pin down to a specific universal definition. It’s an elusive, evasive and slippery idea. Frankly, what really is success? What are the yardsticks for determining a complete success story?

If getting married was success, Jesus was a failure.

If being unmarried was success, Mohammed was a failure.

If amassing college degrees was success, George Washington was a failure.

If growing gray hair and dying old was success, Alexander The Great were failures. (He died at 32years of age).

If being the wealthiest man was success, Albert Einstein was a failure (in his time).

I think you get the gist by now.

There’s no way you’d define success universally without making light of and alienating many notable names; apparent success stories.

I wouldn’t say success is relative, but I’d say it is subjective. If it was relative (to persons), a murderer may define serial killing as his idea of success. But nobody in his or her right mind should see that as success. The fact that he kills people successfully doesn’t mean he is a success story. But when I say success is subjective, it means that the meaning of success is subject to circumstances and/or experiences of one’s life. For instance, a man who was physically and sexually abused as a boy is a success if he grows up to empower rather than abuse others. Rising above negative circumstances and experiences of life is my definition of success. The moment you rise above your negative circumstances, you are the real MVP (a success story).

A friend told the story of his life thus;

I remember when I was admitted to Nigerian Law School. My hope of being called to the Nigerian Bar was almost dashed. The problem was the Law School Tuition. It was #230,000. This was 2007/2008 Academic Session. You see, in my family at that time, #230,000 was a fortune. It would be a fortune if your Dad was a retired low-level NEPA official (Pensioner) and your Mum a medium-scale trader. My Dad literally called a nuclear family meeting to discuss how we would raise the almighty tuition so that I could make it to Law School. He even considered selling his car at the time.

Folks, that amount was a big deal to us. Well, to cut to the chase, through sweat and blood, my Dad raised the money. I don’t even want to know how. All I know is that on the day I was given the cash to pay into the Nigerian Law School designated account, I became paranoid. It felt like I was being followed. Until that day, I had never held that much cash in my life. I was more vigilant than an FBI agent even in the bank premises. I only regained my sanity after the cashier gave me my Bank Teller and said, ‘have a nice day’.

Today, for one court case, I charge almost twice or triple that amount. Someone might wonder, ‘but I spend #500,000 on feeding every month and you charge that for a lawsuit?’ Exactly! And that’s why success is subjective. One man’s lunch money is another man’s weekly budget. And they may both be success stories because their circumstances are radically different. My parents went to great lengths, running from pillar to post just to get #230,000. I make double or triple that amount in one brief. That is Success to me and my parents especially. They did for me what was not done for them. They rose above their own circumstances.

You too can. And when you do, you are for all intents and purposes a Success. No matter what your bank account reads, if you can rise above your challenges, You are a Success!

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