He had always been to me – to a certain extent – the epitome of success at work. But though excellent at what he did – often earning top honours – he never appeared satisfied or genuinely happy with what he had. A smart strategist, he always chose his environment carefully, opting for where competition was less intense. I think this allowed him to consistently perform above his peers wherever he went; even if he always claimed he didn’t care much for it, you could see it in his eyes that he did.
I recalled the times I’d occasionally see that he really wished he didn’t care for it so much. He’d tell me that “this was it”, that he was going to let go of his strivings and finally relax for once. I’d sense the jaded man in him disappear. His eyes would light up, and he’d have this infectious, sincere smile as if all was well and good with the world. And I’d smile and think “finally!” along with him. It was unfortunate, however, that these episodes didn’t last long. Like a baby’s need for love, without his striving for success at work he never looked comfortable. And before long he’d return to it, often with a renewed fervour, perhaps making up for lost time spent letting go.