Lim: Taipan 2

Melanie T. Lim

ON the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Taipan Toastmasters Club, a club I was a member of for 10 years, I was asked to deliver a Past President’s Message last Dec. 13, 2019. Below are excerpts of the message I gave that evening. This is Part 2.

A lot has happened in my life since that fateful year of 1990—when Ruping barrelled through Cebu and I barrelled through Taipan with my Ice Breaker speech.

I know success is important to all of us—not just in Taipan or in Toastmasters but in our lives as well so I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about success in the last 30 years.

You cannot define success in a compartmentalized manner.

A skillful and savvy entrepreneur but an unfaithful lover or absentee parent. A devoted son or daughter but an employee lacking in initiative or responsibility. A family man or woman but a business leader lacking in ethics and scruples. A renowned philanthropist but an abusive spouse in private.

You can’t define success in points, in pesos, in profits per share, in the number of certificates, degrees, awards, houses or cars in your garage. You can’t define success in the number of children you sire, the number of friends you acquire or even the number of people you help.

Success can only be defined in a collective manner—the sum total of your scorecard as a human being here on Earth.

It’s selling a product or service without defrauding your customer. It’s exercising your profession with integrity. It’s treating your employees justly. It’s taking the high road when people hit you below the belt. It’s forgiving without getting an apology. It’s letting go of the past and whatever pain it gave you because holding on to it does no one any good.

It’s recognizing love when it’s there. It’s showing appreciation for the people who work tirelessly for you every day so you can have the life you have—the Instagrammable life you have.

It’s embracing grief when it hits you. It’s getting up after you fall. It’s being grateful every day for what you have and who you have in your life. It’s taking every wild card that life deals you—with aplomb, with hope and with courage that you will prevail, no matter what.

Success is not any of the above. It must be all of the above.

There is no such thing as a successful business mogul. There is no such thing as a successful parent. There is no such thing as a successful business leader. There is no such thing as a successful Toastmaster. You can only be defined as a successful human being.

Because you are a human being first before you are a business mogul, a parent, a child, a sibling, a spouse, a lover, a business leader, a Toastmaster.

These are exacting standards. But these are the standards human beings must hold themselves to. (Part 3, the conclusion, next week.)