Live for yourself posted on 06 April 2024

It’s the weekend, so I thought I would write about something less career oriented today.

Depending on where you grew up (and in general your environment), you may have vastly different definitions of success and happiness. You may have felt tremendous pressure from your family to be “successful” by joining a large and prestigious school/company regardless of whether you would be happy there – e.g. this is fairly common in Asian families.

You should live for yourself, and you should not define success as what your family wishes, what your peers strive to get for themselves or what your friends told you success is. Your success should be to be happy in life. To be more blunt since I write a lot about growing as an engineer, success is not about your title and your compensation.

If learning technical things/growing as an engineer is what makes you happy, then go for it – but it doesn’t have to be about it. If what makes you tick is kayaking, doing crochet, playing chess or something else then go for it. Your job doesn’t have to define you, it’s just a part of you and could be an irrelevant part of your life.

Last but not least, it’s also OK to not be sure about what you want in life. Your priorities will change over time so it’s OK if what you previously did doesn’t align with your current goals/definition of success. I personally didn’t know what I wanted to do for a long time – it’s partially why I did a double master in engineering/computer science.

Hopefully this post may help you rebalance expectations/goals and help you make one more step toward your personal happiness.

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