Appreciating setback.

I was attending a company event and everyone was asked to write their personal motto on a huge board. Almost everyone talked about material success and winning. There is some fierceness in all the messages. Everyone wants to be the winner sitting on the throne.

I wrote.

Life is like a dream. Let’s make it a sweet dream for everyone and not be somebody’s nightmare.

I like to win too. It is a wonderful feeling.

The society taught us to rush for our goals. Be the first to own the latest handphone model, be the first to watch the movie. Be the first to visit exotic holiday destination. Be the one to get a promotion. Anything short of that means you’re a loser.

Thus, we are trapped in our dizzying speed and mad rush. Everyday, the calendar is filled with meetings and milestones. Chasing after the carrot. Fighting for our piece of meat, clawing at others who dare try to compete.

All this for a fragment of our dreamlike existence. In that process, we forget one inevitable failure in life. The failure to live.


This ultimate event in life will make everything that we lived for, seemed like a movie at best or a sad joke at worst.

In contrast to death, our minor setback in life will pale in comparison. Perhaps the setback in career, health, relationship etc will help snap us free from our maddening rush.

That minor trip in life may help us discover the little beautiful flower just beside our narrow path in life. Maybe we will discover another path in life.

When things does not follow our expectation. When there is a setback. It’s time to take a break. There might be some bruises to the ego, but that is fine. It’s like a little cut on the knee. Do not be afraid to stand up and move on.

More importantly, there is a chance to stop and rethink life.





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