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What is Success: Definition of the Concept

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Growing up I was taught that nothing in life is easy unless you work for it. Readings such as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, “From Coach” by Michael Lewis, “He’s got success on the Brain” by Curt Schleier, and “The Element” by Ken Robinson all show examples of how people have overcome their hardships to later become successful in life. Despite the common belief that success is only achieved through attaining wealth and prosperity, success has a different definition for each person which is determined by how they define their happiness. You are then able to achieve your goal once you have overcome the hardships in your life.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is about a man by the name of Chris McCandless who hiked across North America into the Alaskan Wilderness seeking a new way of living life. Despite Chris’s parents wanting him to become a successful scholar, Chris’s definition of success was to live freely. Success is only found once one has dealt with all the hardships in life, and Chris’ way of doing so was running away into the Alaskan Wilderness. What Chris was trying to acquire was getting as far away as possible from civilization. Chris states, “No phone. No pool. No pets. No cigarettes. Ultimate freedom… No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the Wild.” (163) Chris believed that the people around him were “plastic people” (43) and that’s what truly caused him to want to get out of town, and doing so, Chris’ definition of success was found. By getting away from civilization, Chris was able to live freely in the Alaskan wilderness with no hardships to deal with in life other than surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. While it may be true that Chris died in a not so pleasant way, he passed away doing something that truly made him happy causing him to be somewhat successful.

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Without working towards one’s goal, you will never get past hardships into becoming successful. “From Coach” by Michael Lewis and “He’s got success on the Brain” by Curt Schleier show examples of people getting past their hardships in life by working hard towards their goals. Curt Schleier states, “Take action, Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. Just do it.” (753) Without not taking action, getting to one’s goal will be quite impossible. Taking action creates a step along the way to get closer to that goal and by doing so, one will get past many hardships life will throw. To do so, one will need to stay committed and work hard doing so. Micheal Lewis, the author of “ From Coach” states that Coach Fitz prepared him for life, “Coach Fitz was trying to make men out of people. I think he prepares you for life.” (815) This quote shows an example of why you need to take action to succeed in your later future. All of Coach Fitz’s athletes worked hard while playing for him which ended up helping them in the later future. To conclude, To succeed in the future, you’ll have to take some sort of action.

Throughout the years, the common definition of success is that it’s only achieved once you have attained wealth and prosperity. Once you have achieved wealth and prosperity, you have nothing else to worry about, but are you going to be truly happy? Chris writes, “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” (57) Unless you’re truly happy, success isn’t truly found. Not everything should be about attaining wealth because the greater things in life are encountering new experiences to find your happiness.

To Conclude, Despite the common belief that success is only achieved through attaining wealth and prosperity, success has a different definition for each person, which is determined by how they define their happiness. You are then able to achieve succession once you have overcome the hardships in your life. People such as Chris McCandless and Micheal Lewis show different ways of succeeding by getting past their hardships in different ways to find what makes them truly happy. Succession is only found once one has found happiness.  

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