Pursuit of Success

“What is success?”

That was a line taken from a script of a performance I directed a year ago on ‘SUCCESS’ and little would I know that, that very line would be what I’m about to write about.

suc·cess [suhk-ses]  


1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.: She was a great success on the talk show.
5. Obsolete , outcome.

This year, I’ve been meeting a few friends, some old and some new and all of them have been discussing on this particular topic but we discuss more than just the definition of it, it usually ends up differently.

For a start, SUCCESS is subjective and relative to each individual.

You set the bar and you work towards it to achieve your own definition of SUCCESS.

Whilst I find it very humbling to know that some of my friends find me very successful having started two businesses (By Definition Pte Ltd and Singa-sports Academy), I find myself very much far from what I would define as being successful. This stems simply because of the bar that I have set for myself.

The level of success for me is simple. It’s the same dream that I set for myself when I was 12 years old – TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. It’s not difficult when you think of it. Most Singaporeans are millionaires. I mean we have the biggest per capita millionaire in the world and that’s a fact! And well, how not to when owning a Condominium itself would already set someone back a million dollars. Even your HDB flat now cost  close to a million dollars!

But having said that, when I look back at what I have achieved, the small gains made over the years are indeed success or as what would be termed in By Definition’s Personal Excellence-Applied Knowledge Personal Development Plan (PE-AK PDP)’, milestones.

Without these milestones, I wouldn’t know how else to move forward towards my MILLIONAIRE goal.

But would being a MILLIONAIRE is what it takes to describe myself as being successful?

Definitely not anymore today. It is only a means to an end of what I eventually would really like to do.

With the amount of wealth that I would have, I wouldn’t have to worry about working anymore and can then focus on community work to help others achieve small and huge successes. I find a lot more joy in doing community work as a volunteer which is why that millionaire goal is ever so important for me to ensure that my family can live fairly comfortably whilst I pursue my passion in helping others.

So here’s how I would describe it in simpler terms:


To be a millionaire who’s able to actively contribute to the community-at-large through volunteerism


  1. Practising Stephen Covey’s ‘Habits of Highly Successful People’ 
  2. Faith in God
Pele's Success Quote

Pele’s Success Quote

Do you have your own Mission Statement and Rules to Success?

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