In times like these, I remember the short story I wrote for the last installment of Phoenix’s literary folio, The Analects, entitled “Ace of Hearts”.

We all go through life determined to succeed – to reach the peak of our careers, to ace our grades, to become the best of the best. But what we often fail to see is that our quest to succeed always comes at a price – time, relationships, money.

Sometimes, we’re so set on our goals that we forget the very reasons why we strive for them in the first place: a better life for our loved ones, higher salaries, the sense of security in the future. And once we achieve the things that we’ve worked hard for, we look back and realize that we’ve been blindsided by our desire that we’ve failed to see the things that really matter.

And while I’m writing this, I continously ask myself: “How many friends did great men like Da Vinci or Michaelangelo have?” or “Why does history speak of the great men and women of olden times so highly about their craft but, at the same time, mention only a line or two about their relationships, if not their personal lives?”

What – if not how much – does one have to give-up in the name of success?

As you read this, I hope you’d take a minute of your time to look at everything around you. Pause for awhile and ask yourselves: what have I traded off for the things I want in life? Don’t wait until you reach the top before asking yourselves whether you’re happy or not at this point in time.

Because from what I’ve heard, It’s lonely being alone at the top.

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