Monday, May 18, 2015

Post-Graduation Decisions: How to Define Success and Happiness?


Graduation season is upon us and although some of us are all set up to dive into the working world immediately, the rest of us are not ready to commit to the conventional adulthood realm yet. And you know what? I don't think anyone should. When I was graduating last year I had to think really hard about what I wanted to do after I graduate. I had decided already not to work for anyone as I already knew through numerous internships and jobs that I wanted to do something bigger and with my own vision. Something that I could never do while I worked for someone else. But as the final semester came about, I felt the peer pressure to start interviewing for the elite jobs that all my other peers were interviewing for or had already interviewed for and secured a position. Honestly I was also curious to see how I would do being the perfectionist and constant self-challenger that I am.

While I joggled between a full load of classes, going on multiple interviews every other week, group projects, taking LSAT prep courses, and preparing for the finals, I couldn't stop thinking about which route was the right one for me at the moment. I had just wrapped up 7 months of non-stop traveling and committing to the traditional life expectations and pretending like I wasn't constantly dreaming of seeing new places was very hard.


My mum (who is also my best friend and role model) and I had very long talks every day in which I did the majority of the talking. I was basically stuck between making immediate money and working in a typical business-school-graduate prestigious role, taking the leap of faith and starting my social business immediately, or taking the year off to travel the world (maybe even by bike), all while preparing for law school which I want to go to because I want to be a human rights activist. My mum reminded me time and time again that she would support me 100% no matter what decision I decided to make.

I spent countless times talking to everyone trying to get different perspectives on the issue. I finally decided to take the job offer at the company that was global, entrepreneurial, and required relocation (which I thought would satisfy my wanderlust), and wanted strong leaders. I thought that I will be able to study for the LSAT and start my business on the side while I gained valuable experiences and made money. 5 months later with no time to do anything besides work and despite the success I had at the company and the great people that I had met there, I decided that I wanted to do so much more. I had always wanted to do so much more. I did not love what I was doing, I wasn't passionate about it, and despite my always-positive attitude the days seemed to just go by without any happiness. So I quit. Decided to use up all my savings, forego all luxury and any expenditures on myself besides the necessities, and go for my passion. It does take a lot to make a decision like this especially when almost everyone besides a select few, advise you against it. What most people don't realize, in their pure goodness of heart, is that money and rank isn't everything. Happiness comes from within and you define happiness.


The business that I started, started with my faith in myself and in the ones that love me unconditionally. When you go to my online store you'll see that I have truly tried to blend everything I am passionate about to create a community that I can truly be proud of. I wanted to experiment with the idea that I could fully do what makes me happy and what makes my heart tick, and turn it into my life. I travel, to buy beautiful handmade items from people in need around the world thus helping them directly, and then give back from the sale of every product to causes that I truly care about such as education, human rights, women rights, and to those who need it most such as refugees, orphans, homeless, and other persecuted or underrepresented groups.

I also learned the most important lesson from this and every other crazy thing that happened to me and my family this year. I am learning "patience". I am learning that dreams, hopes, heartfelt wishes, and our goals will come true. That health, freedom, togetherness, and success will come to us. But sometimes we have to wait longer than we want to for them to happen and that's ok as long as we don't give up hope and give up on our faith in ourselves and the higher power we believe in. Patience is proving to be the hardest thing I have ever had to learn because although I have been through some tough tests throughout the years, it is deciding to test me to the point of giving up this year. I have found that love from loved ones, and a daily dedication to faith in myself and my life path, positive thoughts, and commitment to being happy no matter what, are the tools to get me through.


I realize that my story might not resonate with many and I do know that without sharing all the details of my life that it is hard to understand where I come from exactly, but I am not ready to share more. This post started as something else but quickly turned into this. So I do want to share with you what my mind seems to have decided for me to write for you. What remains is what I would ideally want anyone reading this to take out of the uncontrollable rants of my mind; lessons which I myself hope to learn better everyday.

That it is never too late to do what you want. That following your deepest instincts or heart's desires, although really scary, is not wrong. That whatever you do should be what you want to offer to the world. That your passions are valid as long as, as my mum always says, what you do benefits and helps you, the people around you, and the world and all its creations. That every action you take should strive to satisfy all three. And what I still struggle with everyday, that there is no universal definition for the following words: Happiness, Success, Love, Wealth, Family, and Friendship. You truly are in charge of those definitions.
Be happy and FIGHT ON!
I hope that this helped in any way with your post-graduation decisions. Please share and inspire me with your definitions of success and happiness. Lets inspire others with our definitions so that maybe we learn to be more accepting of ourselves, our aspirations, and others in this world. 

2 comments:

  1. You are absolutely right dear; planning for a graduation party is really so much fun. I also had my graduation party at venues San Francisco. My parents planned it for me and it was so much fun.

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    Replies
    1. I'm very happy for you! Glad you had a great time :)

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