Few days back, I came to know that one of my ex-colleagues (or more of my former competitor) was doing very well in her career. I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I was angry and frustrated that how can she succeed when she has so many shortcomings; and on the other hand, I wanted to admire her for whatever she has achieved until now. The same was the topic of discussion with my one of my friends when we met for coffee the other day. We started debating on whether whatever’s happening in her life is good or not (of course, we didn’t have anything better to do than to bitch about some mutual acquaintance).
Before I go further onto the point of debate, let me give you some background about my former colleague.
Let’s suppose her name is Mina. Now Mina is a type of girl who is usually hated by all the employees in the office; however, she is respected by all the members of the top management initially because most of the times they are unaware of the game she is playing. As the time goes, even top management starts hating her guts. You know the type of a girl we are talking about: highly ambitious, ruthless and determined. She will do anything to achieve her goals and dreams. She won’t leave any stone unturned. Talking about her family, she is coming from the type of family wherein females are suppressed, and are not supposed to have careers, let alone a rocking one.
Now back to Mina’s career in the present. Currently Mina is working for a very prestigious company in the other city. There she has got a fabulous career. When I told my friend that I am feeling envious of Mina, my friend said that I shouldn’t feel so. When I asked her why, she said that Mina doesn’t have any friends or family support because to climb the ladder of success, she gave up these relations. She stays alone in an unknown city, with no close friends or family members. When she wants to hang out, she has to look hard for friends’ company. And that’s why my friend believes that I am better off.
I absolutely disagree. Why? Well, according to me, the definition of success is different. What do we mean by success? Success is getting whatever we want. Now Mina wanted a rocking career, not a thriving family life. And if she has that career, she is successful. Isn’t she? And I am so right to envy her.
Now the other point is, why we don’t have what we want? The answer is simple. We are not ready to pay the price for that success. I want a rocking career; but along with that, I want a strong family system close by and a close knit of friends whom I can call in the middle of the night if I want to. I am not ready to give up these relationships to have a dazzling career. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as free lunch. To achieve something, you have to give up something. I admire Mina because she has the guts to pay the price for her dreams. Do I have that guts? No. Do you have that guts? Maybe, but you have to decide that.
Another thing I admire about Mina is her ruthless determination. We females, by default, are quite emotional compared to our male counterparts. No matter how educated we are, how strong and logical we are, we always bring emotional price in all our equations. For us, emotions are as important as materialistic things. We are greedy. Instinctively, we want everything — family, friends, career, fame. When any female is able to ignore these emotions, and ruthlessly pursue what she wants single-mindedly, she deserves to be admired, doesn’t she?
When we ignore these points and start pitying Mina for whatever she has achieved, I think it’s a case of sour grapes for us. Just because another person has achieved something that we haven’t been able to, we start looking for the price that person has paid for it. Who are we to decide whether the price paid by that person is steep or proper? Who are we to decide whether that person has taken a right decision?
Most of us have got a working brain. Power to take decisions. Wisdom to choose between right and wrong. So each person can take their own decisions. Make their own mistakes. We don’t have a right to decide whether that decision is right or wrong. And when we start making such judgements, it’s nothing but a case of sour grapes. Isn’t it?