Who do you aspire to be? A high flyer with a corner office? A globetrotter? At 60, I count myself fortunate, I’m in a position which many would count envious. I’ve taken great positions in 4 different companies, on 4 different continents. I have a beautiful wife and 2 beautiful children. However, the person I’m most envious of, is my good friend who coincidentally goes by the same name as me, Steve.
Steve and I go way back. We have been best friends since we were 10 years old. When we were 20, we took different paths. Steve stayed behind in our quiet little town of Scarborough, in Yorkshire while I flew out.
At 20, I thought to be successful, one had to work 90 hours work weeks. I thought success meant having a big house and going for exotic holidays so I traveled out of our small town to work at a big company. I worked long and hard.
I learnt that you can be happy no matter what you do
However, whenever I went back home, I always felt miserable and I was always complaining about how tough things were. My dear friend however, always seemed so happy. In fact, he always seemed so much happier than I was even though I was supposedly living the “high” life.
Don’t get me wrong. I count myself blessed. I love my job. I’ve lived on 4 different continents and had the fortune to take influential positions in 2 different industries. But after working in these different positions and places, I’ve realized, the grass may not be greener on the other side.
The grass is the same everywhere but we need to learn to embrace what we’ve got. I’ve worked my whole life to get material things but as I grew older, I have learnt to take a step back and not chase the material things.
I learnt that you can be happy no matter what you do. That’s why at 60, I don’t envy the high flyers of the world, I envy Steve of Scarborough for he has learnt to be happy. I have learnt that happiness doesn’t lie in that new house or car. It lies in taking care of your needs and those of your family and simply appreciating all that life has given you.
Chief Technology Officer – APJ