Oftentimes, adults overlook the importance of the way children feel, think and perceive. Deep down, we all desire two things: success and acceptance. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a young person, these two things are the basic requirements for the fulfilment of our soul — just like food and water are the basic requirements for the fulfilment of our physical needs.

In this world, success and acceptance are both dependent on each other. You can’t have one without the other. Truth be told, I don’t think there’s a right way to get either of those things. Let’s take a look at acceptance first.

For a group of people to accept you into their social network, you have to behave in a certain way. It doesn’t matter if what way you truly see yourself, it’s who you have to be in order to fit in with them. There’s no justification for faking your behaviour. You are effectively compromising your values in order to change yourself, not for the better, but to be ‘acceptable’.

I think it’s important for us to understand that success and acceptance are not synonymous. Success, in our times, is having a socially acceptable status such as being a doctor or engineer; although this is not my definition of success.

I believe success to be different. Success is unique. Success is not reflected by the attire of the doctors, lawyers and businessmen you see roaming office buildings or the streets. The briefcases they carry don’t symbolise their success, the suits they wear doesn’t mean they are successful.

You know you’re successful when you stand out due to your accomplishments and behaviour. You are successful when you’ve climbed a mountain, or have sailed, or have participated in a race. You don’t have to get the first position in something — success is the completion of a goal or a target, a feeling of contentment with what you have. Success is everything that makes you feel complete.

In today’s world, no one wants to be ordinary. You only get noticed when you’re extraordinary, and only the extraordinary attain success with their hard work.

Besides, the road to success is bumpy. Nothing is even remotely easy, that’s another thing both adults and children alike are very well-aware of. The moment you learn the difference between who you are and who you are expected to be, that’s the moment you’re ready to become who you want to be.

We all want to be big, bold and brave; well why can’t we be? There’s something unique and different about each and every one of us. We should highlight it rather than tuck it away. Our talents are like a birthmark, it’s permanent and distinctive.

My advice to you is to accept yourself, rather than wait for others to accept you. Chances are, they never will. You are the only version of you, there is no reason for you to have to hide that or be ashamed of it. Nothing about us is ordinary, and that is the most extraordinary thing of all.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 14th, 2022

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