It is my birth week, and I thought I should devote this piece to me. But my thoughts to share with you, because, where possible, I would like you to pick up a thing or two from what I am sharing.

So…today, I want to capture some of what I have said previously, and use on myself.

The areas where I said one needs to self-appraise, I have done that. Areas where I said we have to reflect, box ticked, I did. Areas I said one has to listen to one’s own voice first and loudest, I do all the time. Areas where one has to respect oneself and others, yes, done.

I have had deep reflections over the past years. And so should you.

The first thing is about self-worth.

To be able to assess oneself and plug holes where one discovers them in their life, and correct areas of anomaly where one finds them, and celebrate the good where there are any, is a really good way to develop oneself.

To now decide on ‘how do I see myself?’ is a very good way to round off the self-assessment and determine where and how to continue the journey – the journey of Life.

I also want to touch on the word ‘success’.

Many people go out there and look on others and say ‘now that is a successful person’. You also look on yourself sometimes and ask ‘am i a success?’

And I ask – who determines success? Who created the yardstick for success? What are the benchmarks for success? What milestones have you set to determine success?

Should success really be a word? How many different components of success are there?

I have oftentimes wondered if there is an all-round success story of anyone’s life.

Success as a person, success as a parent, success as a spouse, success as a sibling, success as a child to your parents, success as a businessman, success as an employer, success as an employee, success
as a driver, success as pretty much anything. Who can tick all those boxes?

So, on reflection, in my birth week, I have de-emphasised the word Success, and I have gone for ‘Happy’.

Because no matter how the outside world sees you, it is how you see yourself that matters most.

And I see myself, not as a success (even if many think I am), but as happy, and contented.

As an individual, I have come a long way. I have seen a lot, weathered a lot, and I am still here.

And I am happy, and contented with where I have found myself.

I have looked on targets I set myself over the years, and I have tried to assess how much of them I have achieved when I set out to do them. Quite a few…..a considerable few; a satisfactory percentage of accomplishment. So I am happy.

I have looked on my relationships with people generally – my family, my circle of friends, my work colleagues, my array of acquaintances. Not many (if any at all) has had a bad word to say about me, not in a very long time. So, I am happy.

I have even looked at my adversaries – people who have set out to say or do negative stuff around me for whatever reason. I have searched myself closely, to be sure that I have not done anything to directly affect anyone’s fortunes or wellbeing to warrant such adversities. I am sure I have not. So, I am happy.

I have looked at the wider world; the world of the needy, the underprivileged; and I have asked myself whether I have done my part to humanity. Now this time, because I am being honest with myself, I say No, I have not. But I have a very strong resolve to improve on it, and make a more positive impact on the lives of more and more people going forward.

So while I have not accomplished as much as I would have wanted to on the humanitarian front, the fact that I am aware of that shortcoming and have resolved to correct it is something. So, even on that, I am happy.

My period of self-reflection broadly completed, I have decided to discard the word SUCCESS and rather focus on the word HAPPY.

I have made a commitment to share my life’s experiences with you – my audience. I believe I have a lot to share, and a lot for people to learn and pick up from.

That commitment makes me a happy person, and I hope to make my birthday week a turning point where contentment with my achievement and accomplishments will be my guiding force that will supersede the drive to hustle and always chase material and superficial gains.

I am happy this week. Be happy for me. But also, have a look within, and look for areas where you can also be happy for you.

Because no matter where you are, things perhaps could be better; but remember it could also be worse. That it is as it is, you must be happy.