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Defining Success and Yourself in Your Life

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In the article “How to Get the Most Out of College”, the author Bruni asserts being open in college is a pathway to achieve career success. In the book, “The New Better Off”, author Martin defines success as doing a job or living the life that could make you feel unique, desirable, and valuable. People differ greatly on their attitudes towards this problem. Personally, I stand on the side of setting reasonable goals for yourself that make you feel happy, when you achieve them in the future you will feel happier, that is a success.

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The definition of success is different for each individual. For a thousand people, there will be thousands of definitions of success. Everyone’s concept of success is different, because everyone’s personal experience, values, and understanding of life are different. Success may really vary from person to person, and we all have to find our own specific criteria for success. We can list a lot of criteria for success: family happiness, career success, good health, giving full play to their potential, living with goals, pursuing goals, cultivating in the professional field, gaining wide recognition and respect, contributing to society, doing what they like… These are all right, because success depends on the definition of each person’s values, the results of success will be different. In short, success is defined as the process and results of achieving the goals set by oneself within a specified time.

Setting a goal doesn’t mean you must achieve the goal. If you don’t have a goal, you may end up with the flow of life. It’s like people are rowing in the ocean, but they don’t know which port to stop in. When a person sets goals, the most important thing is not how to achieve these goals, but ‘why’ to set these goals, ‘why’ is more important than ‘how.’ In Martin’s book, Teresa, a home healthcare attendant, takes care of her three clients with average earns about $10/hour. There are much better jobs with a high salary that Teresa could be doing, such as a human resources director or an occupational therapist. But she chooses to be a home healthcare aide because she finds her values and goals by doing this job. “What is valuable is that Teresa realized that she’s intrinsically motivated to help people, and she found a job that allows her to do just that, get paid(albeit too little), and gain a sense of satisfaction” (Martin,2016, p.16). Indeed, Teresa’s goal is to help her patients ease their pain either physically or emotionally, feel satisfied seeing smiles on their faces. Success is a quite simple thing for her, “If you’re good to somebody, somebody else is going to be good to you.”

The reality tells us that success must start from doing what you want to do and work hard to achieve your goals. “‘If you are fortunate enough to find something that you’re totally obsessed with, you’re likely to work hard at it. If you’re a human being of average intelligence and you work very hard at something, you’re likely to become very good at it. And if you become very good at it, people are likely to notice.’ That means they’re likely to employ and reward you as well” (Burni, 2018, para.22). We all know that as long as we do well in one thing, we will become a successful person one day, but it is very difficult to find a job that you love to do. What most people can’t do is definitely difficult, so don’t underestimate its difficulty. At the same time, don’t be discouraged because it is not found. On the one hand, “doing what you like to do” does not mean doing what you want to do the most at this moment. Even if Einstein wants to drink coffee, he would tell him to finish the work at hand first. On the other hand, you have to like to work a little more, enjoy less. Of course, you can’t work day and night, you can stick to work until you get tired, and then you may want to do something else, or even just daze. But don’t take this moment as a reward, or compensation for hard work.

I used to consider money is proportional to success, putting an equals sign between wealth and success, the more money I have, the more success I can reach. Having money means having everything because of economic development, change of concept. People’s material needs are also increasing day by day, so people are desperately pursuing money, companies pursuing interests, and the country is pursuing GDP. Substance seems to be the goal of hard work and struggle, which forms an inappropriate value that judges everything including success by material. In a sense, wealth is only one measure of success, but it is not an absolute standard. There is nothing wrong with pursuing ‘success’, even if it is necessary, but the excessive pursuit of fame and money often leads to loses that simplicity and sincerity of the meaning of success. If we all use wealth as the standard of success, the future may be lost in the eyes of money and lose our soul and spirit.

In my mind, success is divided into two states. One is temporary success, which is short-term success, rich and famous, but in the future it may become poor and unknown. Just as the athlete won the championship for the first time, it is impossible to win for the second time if he no longer exercising. We do the same in our daily life. If you have lasting ideas and lasting values, and you can persist, your career may be better, and you can achieve another state of success — long-term success.

Overall, different people will have a different standard for success. For poor people, success might mean wealthy to them; for rich people, success might mean healthy to them; for a broken person, success might mean a happy family to be concerned. All these things have a premise which is goals. Setting a goal and making a reasonable plan to achieve the goal so you have a target to struggle with, and you won’t get lost on your journey to make dreams come true. With this plan, the goal can be completed step by step according to your plan. Undoubtedly each of us has a different definition of success. And the process of successful experience is the same, you have to go through some hardships and learn to pay what ordinary people can’t afford. In fact, the success of life is a combination of countless failures. Don’t spend all of your hard time on complaints, because even if you are complaining, you can’t change your current situation, but your current efforts will at least make you no longer have to complain in the future. Success is Never Final. 

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