SuccessMore than three-fourthsof life is spent working to achieve success.
People are told throughout childhood to work as hard as they can, sothey can grow up and be successful, yet everyone’s perception and definition ofsuccess is different. Generally, successmeans fulfilling the goals that you set for yourself. Yet, success may also be defined as living alife of “quantity” through the acquisition of wealth and fame as measured bypopularity, material riches, and monetary gain, or defined as living a”quality” life, where the symbols of success are connected to family values, goodhealth, and a passion for work. Also, overcomingadversity is a definition of success that we surely experience at some point inour lives, regardless of the definition of success we select as a preference.
For manypeople, life is about having a vision for the future, setting short- andlong-term goals, and persevering relentlessly to achieve them. Success becomes an outcome of personal achievement in the form of obtaining adiploma, certification, higher education degree, employment of choice, greatmarriage, and even having children. Itis an intrinsic sense of accomplishment and self- pride that has a directcorrelation to setting realistic goals and working tirelessly to ensure thosegoals come to full fruition.Incontrast, success may be defined by how much money one possesses and/orpublicly spends. Symbols of success aredirectly tied to one’s financial worth and being seen with luxurious items,whether it is a luxury car, a home in a gated community or suburb, paying forprivate schools, eating at fine restaurants, a wardrobe of top-designerclothes, private luxury transportation (on ground or in the air), extensivenational and international travel, or surrounding oneself with persons who areconsidered just as wealthy or rich. Itis ironic, however, that people who define success as a measurement of materialexcessiveness, financial portfolios, and elite status due to the privilege ofmoney, jetset through life in awhirlwind that often entails emptiness, a lack of spiritual fulfillment, and inconstant search for happiness.
Consequently, in my opinion, this definition ofsuccess is not a true measure of success. Yet,there are others who define success as the reward of simple joys and the valueof “how” you live, (quality of life) versus “how much” money you possess (quantityin life). For example, living a lifewith a supportive, caring, loving family in a home filled with familytraditions represents success.
Working ajob of passion with less money is success rather than reporting to a job with aphenomenal salary which lacks in personal fulfillment, growth, and development.Having children is another example of one of life’s simple joys which defines success. When two people have achild, they feel successful simply because they are blessed to have someone tolove and treasure. The feeling of beingable to love and raise their child is truly a success in life. Good health can also be considered a defining factor ofsuccess. The accomplishment of most oflife’s tasks depends on being mobile and in great health. Therefore, feeling healthy (mentallyand physically) is a strong determinant of whether or not you are successfuland can enjoy a life of longevity.
Even the simple joy of trying new things andstepping out of one’s comfort zone to experience new challenges and adventures anda lifestyle that supports it can define a life of success. Ultimately,if you can come home from the job you love, see your loving family, and be ableto sit down, relax, and appreciate the simple joys of life, that is success. Finally, success may bedefined as overcoming hardships. No onelikes hard and rough times with tears and pain. Someone who has enduredsacrifice and suffering often feels like he or she has definitely accomplishedsomething. An individual that hasovercome an obstacle or difficult challenge achieves a measure of success. As David Brinkley stated, “a man can be proudif he has laid a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him,” forthe most valuable lessons can come from failures.
Like Dale Carnegie said, “Discouragement andfailure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” After all, who could understand the meaningof success if they did not experience disappointment? As light would not exist without darkness,success would not be achieved without failure. So, overcoming adversity can serve as anaffirming meaning of success. There are varied descriptions of success. Some relate success to money, othersdesignate it as a quality of life, and still others define success as triumphover misfortune. There is no right orwrong explanation of success.
It’s allrelative to one’s perspective and how one chooses to live his own life. Success, at its core, can only be defined bywhat one truly believes.