Success

More than three-fourths
of life is spent working to achieve success. 
People are told throughout childhood to work as hard as they can, so
they can grow up and be successful, yet everyone’s perception and definition of
success is different.  Generally, success
means fulfilling the goals that you set for yourself.  Yet, success may also be defined as living a
life of “quantity” through the acquisition of wealth and fame as measured by
popularity, material riches, and monetary gain, or defined as living a
“quality” life, where the symbols of success are connected to family values, good
health, and a passion for work.  Also, overcoming
adversity is a definition of success that we surely experience at some point in
our lives, regardless of the definition of success we select as a preference.

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For many
people, life is about having a vision for the future, setting short- and
long-term goals, and persevering relentlessly to achieve them.  Success becomes an outcome of personal  achievement in the form of obtaining a
diploma, certification, higher education degree, employment of choice, great
marriage, and even having children.  It
is an intrinsic sense of accomplishment and self- pride that has a direct
correlation to setting realistic goals and working tirelessly to ensure those
goals come to full fruition.

In
contrast, success may be defined by how much money one possesses and/or
publicly spends.  Symbols of success are
directly 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 for
private schools, eating at fine restaurants, a wardrobe of top-designer
clothes, private luxury transportation (on ground or in the air), extensive
national and international travel, or surrounding oneself with persons who are
considered just as wealthy or rich.  It
is ironic, however, that people who define success as a measurement of material
excessiveness, financial portfolios, and elite status due to the privilege of
money,  jetset through life in a
whirlwind that often entails emptiness, a lack of spiritual fulfillment, and in
constant search for happiness. Consequently, in my opinion, this definition of
success is not a true measure of success.

Yet,
there are others who define success as the reward of simple joys and the value
of “how” you live, (quality of life) versus “how much” money you possess (quantity
in life).  For example, living a life
with a supportive, caring, loving family in a home filled with family
traditions represents success.  Working a
job of passion with less money is success rather than reporting to a job with a
phenomenal 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 a
child, they feel successful simply because they are blessed to have someone to
love and treasure.  The feeling of being
able to love and raise their child is truly a success in life. Good health can also be considered a defining factor of
success.  The accomplishment of most of
life’s tasks depends on being mobile and in great health.  Therefore, feeling healthy (mentally
and physically) is a strong determinant of whether or not you are successful
and can enjoy a life of longevity.  Even the simple joy of trying new things and
stepping out of one’s comfort zone to experience new challenges and adventures and
a 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 able
to sit down, relax, and appreciate the simple joys of life, that is success. 

Finally, success may be
defined as overcoming hardships.  No one
likes hard and rough times with tears and pain. Someone who has endured
sacrifice and suffering often feels like he or she has definitely accomplished
something.  An individual that has
overcome an obstacle or difficult challenge achieves a measure of success.  As David Brinkley stated, “a man can be proud
if he has laid a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him,” for
the most valuable lessons can come from failures.  Like Dale Carnegie said, “Discouragement and
failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”  After all, who could understand the meaning
of 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 an
affirming meaning of success.

 There are varied descriptions of success.  Some relate success to money, others
designate it as a quality of life, and still others define success as triumph
over misfortune.  There is no right or
wrong explanation of success.  It’s all
relative to one’s perspective and how one chooses to live his own life.  Success, at its core, can only be defined by
what one truly believes.