My Definition of Success


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Everyone has his or her own definition of success. I personally feel that success is the self satisfaction of achieving the goals we have set in our lives. In order to accomplish these goals, the individual struggles very hard and makes many sacrifices along the way.

I am fortunate to have two people in my family whom I consider are perfect examples of success. The first person is my aunt. Her name is Dr. Julia Garcia. She's the person that I admire the most.

She comes from a hardworking middle class family. Twenty-four years ago, when she graduated from high school skilled as a bi-lingual secretary, she started to work in an office at the age of 16. Every month, when it was pay day, she gave half of her paycheck to her mother. This way she would help with the household expenses. The other half she would save to pay her future college education.

She would never spend her money on clothes, jewelry, movie tickets or any other recreation. She was always thinking about the future, and knew that these sacrifices would be rewarded someday.

When she was 18, she entered college and majored in Accounting and Business. She was given the award of "Most Brilliant Graduate" and the university offered her to work for them as an Accounting professor. She accepted.

In three years she made enough money to buy her parents a beautiful house and get her first car. A few years later, she thought her life was getting boring, so she decided to go back to school and find her real vocation. She went to dental school and majored in orthodontia. Now she owns her own dental clinic, works for a big hospital as a dental surgeon, and she still is a college professor. All this in her country, Ecuador.

Another successful member of my family is my beloved maternal grandmother. She was raised on a farm along with two sisters and a brother. They always had to help their parents with the farm chores.

In 1917, when my grandmother was six years old, she was able to attend school, but only two years. Her father died and she had to drop out of school to help her mother and older brother with the hard task of holding up the farm.

She couldn't go to school, but her thirst for knowledge was so great that she borrowed books from libraries and she educated herself without anybody's help.

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She taught herself how to read and write in Spanish perfectly, and that's really admirable.

Later in life she married my grandfather, and they had four sons and three daughters. They weren't rich. They just had the essentials: food, clothing and a decent home to live in. They couldn't afford any fancy things.


My grandfather never cared about his children's education, but my grandmother did. Now she is very proud and satisfied of being the mother of two architects, an important businessman, an accountant, a dental surgeon and an executive secretary.

I think my aunt and grandmother fit my definition of success. They both fulfilled with satisfaction most of the goals they had in life. My aunt sacrifed her youth. While other teenagers had fun, she was studying and working, and that's how she obtained what she wanted--three different professions and a brilliant future.

My grandmother, with only two years of schooling, had the initiative to teach herself how to write and read, and became a very wise woman. Also, because she was always conscious of the importance of a good education, she helped her children get into college, and seeing them finish it with honors was an accomplished goal and dream come true for her.


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