Here’s something that has been bothering me all week: What does success mean to me?
The entire eAmbasadors team decided to get together this week (or was it last? Oops!) to define and share our own perspective on success.
The student in me dived for the dictionary, altogether not a bad habit when you’re asked to define a word, and found two acceptable relevant definitions.
- the attainment of popularity or profit.
Now I feel that in general, this is the definition we use to refer in to a successful person. The person who is famous or rich, because we oh-so-constantly relate success with those two things. This is where I have a problem, because to me, the desire for a successful life implies that it has become a competition, you against the rest of the world, and the end game is success. We are so worried about this. Did said person get a head start? How can I get ahead? Do I have what it takes to be the best? You do not need to be the best at whatever you do as long as you find it meaningful and you care about it. And what’s worse is that a life is often judged as good or bad based on the amount of success the person achieves. Does this mean that the life of a person that wakes up early, goes to school or work every day and then goes back to their family is any less meaningful and important than the life of a celebrity?
The second definition is, to me at least, the correct one, in the sense that it is the one best applicable to our lives.
- the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
On my very first day at Glendon, one of the advisors stood in front of the class and asked for a volunteer. What followed was a mix of nervous laughter and rushed whispers, when finally a willing victim was found she was asked to jump as far as she could. The result: not that far. But then she was asked to set a distance that she would then aim to reach, and with that distance in mind she did in fact manage to jump that distance. Our own personal goals push us to be better, and it is the feeling of actually accomplishing those goals like finally being able to run those 10k you’ve been training for or making someone smile every day, that is real success. It is better to set your own objectives than follow others. We are all different and I think that real, achievable success means something different to each of us, to me it is getting up every morning to run, or posting a blog. So I think, that there isn’t one big Success that we should all compete for, but really we all have our own personal aims and goals that motivate and encourage us along.
I want to believe that the world is not a race, after all, for who wants to spend their entire life looking at the sweaty back of the guy in front?
Don’t forget to check out the other eAmbasadors’s posts on success here!