What Success Means to Me

It took me some time to gather my thoughts on this one. One night while chatting with a girlfriend, she asked “what is success to you?”. It surprised me that it took me a while to come up with an answer. At that moment, it felt like success was something misty. It didn’t feel like a solid platform that you can stand on and say “hey! I am successful now!” Because, what happens after that?

Yohji Yamamoto, someone who’s known for seeing beauty in imperfections, once said “…if you see a creation as a whole, as 100 percent, I will always try to finish before arriving at 100. This five, seven, or ten percent we call empty or in between or uncompleted in Japanese.”This empty space that you design, however you may intepret it, comes from the depths of your soul.

I guess when you put that idea into life, it can be something so damn beautiful. That you are never at 100%(success), there’s always space for wonder and expression. Something that can never be seen, something that only you feel and experience.

It amuses me that my very first post, titled “I failed”, has the most views and got the most number of responses. There is a natural gravitation towards how each one of us define failure and success in life because it kinda opens up an intimate window into someone’s life and how they choose to live it. Some judge, some respect and understand the fact that everyone’s different. Life’s beautiful that way.

I have been following #everestnofilter closely ever since my friend recommended it to me. Two guys, Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger, were updating live on snapchat of their summit to Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen. They arrived at base camp on April 13th and Cory summited this morning. Adrian had to turn back. It’s a fact that Adrian failed to summit. But man, they succeeded in so much more. Who would’ve thought you would be able to witness the Everest experience real time. The effort they put in to engage those who could only dream of reaching the highest point on earth is unfathomable.

Then I read an article shortly after titled “Woman trying to prove ‘vegans can do anything’ among four dead on Mount Everest” It was with a heavy heart reading this article after rejoicing on Cory’s successful summit. Not just about the fact that great lives were lost. But I questioned, “why did she have to prove anything to anyone?”. I saw it with negative eyes, it was judgmental.

Then I realised, to have the willpower and determination to take on Everest is so much more than that. The passion she had to challenge the uneducated about veganism was so strong and what an impact she would’ve made for the community if she had succeeded. It also made me feel so disappointed that the world is still so narrowminded for them to feel the need to prove it. For simply taking action on what they believe in, they deserve utmost respect.

I used this two Everest references because we all have our own personal Everest. The peak is the most obvious form of success, but let’s not all forget about the journey of getting there.

Success is not about numbers, it is not materialistic. You can have a house but not a home or a beautiful bed with no rest. Take time to enjoy what life has to give. Success is organic and should flow with life, and to me, to be successful is when you are no longer afraid of failure in all aspects of life. 

With Love,
Location: Singapore

PS: Just got news that my samples are done and ready to be shipped! Yay! 

Eve Tan
Eve Tan


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