Enjoyment is Key Ingrediant in Success

John Tory, the leader of Ontario’s Conservative Party lost in a provincial by-election on March 5, 2009 as he attempted to win a seat in the Ontario legislature after he failed to win a seat in the 2007 provincial election.  He basically resigned from politics the next day.  

Some people interpret his resignation as a failure.  He lost not just these two elections.  He also losted his bid to become Toronto’s Mayor to David Miller in 2003.  Three strikes.  He was out.  But I see his resignation as a success.  He didn’t seem to be destined to be a successful politician because he never seemed to be excited about or enjoyed politics.  It is a victory for him to quit doing something that he doesn’t enjoy!

Many people respect and admire that John ventured into politics with good intention for the public good.   “Tory didn’t come to Queen’s Park to make a name for himself, nor did he come for the money,”  wrote in The Toronto Star, “With the noblest of intentions, he entered politics precisely because he believed he could make a difference.” 

But a personal success is not just about good deeds.  It is more about honour his or her life with joy in the things they do everyday.  It is not so much about the impact of what they do that will bring them joy, but rather, the pure experience of doing that give them joy.  As I write this, I see in my head the image of our former Prime Minister Jean Chretian having a great time debating, attacking or promoting ideas in public.  He was really good at it.  And he seemed to get a kick out of it.  To certain extend, politics was something fun to do for Jean Chretian.  For John Tory, politics seemed to be just a means of labour to get certain results that will satisfy him and, in his opinion, Ontarians as well.

Success is about process.  Success is a journy, not a destination.  Personal success is not just about achieving goals, but more importantly about enjoying experiences.

Canada’s former Finance Ministry Paul Martin had the ambition to become Canada’s Prime Minister.  He was very interested in achieving that goal.  With many unhappy jostling and in-fighting events he instigated in the Liberal Party, he succeeded in unseating Jean Chretian and became a Prime Minister, briefly.  I never saw him enjoying being in the role of Canada’s Prime Minister in the public.  I only saw that he enjoyed that title, not all the work and politiking associated with it.  In less than a year, he reduced the Liberal’s majority government to a minority government in the 2004 Federal Election.  In a year and half, he lost the governing power to the Conservative Party in the 2006 Federal Election.  He was gone. 

I think about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, ran unsuccessfully for political office three times before succeeding.  I think about the difference between John Tory and Harvey Milk.  I think that Harvey had more fun in campaigning than Tory had.  Many of Harvey’s volunteers realized later that they were recruited by Harvey because he found them attractive!

Years ago, a friend of mine — a very good person, as good as John Tory — was searching for ways to achieve success and live a meaningful life.  Basically, he wanted to be someone of importance similar to Canada’s  Prime Minister or his/her advisor.  He was looking for a path that would take him there.  He was willing to work extremely hard if that path was shown to him and a prominent position was secured for him at the end of the path.  For years, he couldn’t find that path…

The path is his day-to-day experience.  As he focused on his goal, he overlooked his path.  Maybe if he had paid greater attention to his daily experience, he would have eventually found out what he enjoyed and was good at and eventually became very good at something, which could be being an athlete, a soldier, a coach, a councilor, a politician, an actor, a carpentor, a husband, a father…

Success is not just about achieving prominence in a society.  First and foremost, it is about honouring your and enjoy your life.  It is a sin to not to pursue such success.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 11:09 pm and is filed under Articles Available for Publishers, Canadian, Just Being Me. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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