The Definition of Success

The Definition of Success

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The Definition of Success

'One has achieved success who has lived well and laughed often.'; This quote seems to sum up what is meant by success. If you are able to laugh often and much then you have definitely achieved happiness. The idea of living well, though, is a very broad statement. In order, then, to define success in relation to this statement, we must first define what it means to live well. There are three levels of success, in my opinion: societal success, personal success, and academic or professional success. If someone can achieve all of these three levels of success, they are someone who has lived well.

     Societal success is something that is attained by aspiring to reach your own goals and dreams in cohorts with the goals that society has for us. Societal success also has a lot to do with the natural tendencies we as humans posses. The typical societal goals that we would naturally have for ourselves would be to meet someone, fall in love and get married. We are also apt to identify having good friends with having achieved socially. We have achieved societal success, typically, if we have met the right person, lived happily, started a family and raised our children well. A part of societal success is also to learn to treat people well; to practice the 'golden rule.'; We need to fill these goals that society has for us and attempt to achieve societal success in order to fill our need to belong to society and fit in as an every day, functioning member of society. We also realize the personal goals and dreams that we set for ourselves in this pursuit of conformity. Achieving this civic success, as you might call it, is only a small part of our venture to living well.

     Personal success is also a big part of living well. 'There is only one success . . . to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.'; This quote by Christopher Morley describes what is really meant by personal success. Personal success has to do with being happy. One can only be truly happy if they are happy and secure with themselves. Personal success is about being yourself and not being afraid to do so. It is about not letting others dictate your life or make you feel that you have to change who you are.

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It is about gaining self confidence and maintaining it. It is about being able to draw strength from yourself ,and not needing affirmation from anyone. It is about being able to stay happy, even on the days when the phone doesn't ring. Personal success is also about setting goals for yourself and reaching them through hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Achieving personal success is the only way to achieve real happiness and peace with yourself. Personal success is about liking yourself and accepting who you are. This is the most important level of success. Without this kind of success and self acceptance it would be hard to succeed in other aspects of life.


     Another important aspect of live is our academic and/or professional lives. It is something that is on going ,and it is what we most often identify the word success with. We most often identify success with being wealthy and important in the professional world. Academic success, though, is about doing one's best; it is about making the most of our potential. It is about hard work, and knowing that you worked to get where you are. It is about being happy in your career and satisfied in your accomplishments, whether they are academic or occupational. Professional success includes being happy with the choices you have made, and being proud of what you have done. It is about keeping interested in your own career, whatever it is. Academic success is about getting the grades that one wants. Succeeding academically or professionally is about knowing you sacrificed to get what you want and where you want and realizing that hard work leads to happiness. This kind of success, just as all levels of success, is about setting goals and never letting them out of sight. As Benjamin Disraeli said 'The secret of success is constancy of purpose.'; It is about knowing what you want, doing whatever it takes to get it and never giving up.

     If all three levels of success can be reached then one has learned what it is to live well. Success only truly comes with being happy. Happiness and success are the accomplices of one another. You cannot have one without the other. Happiness brings success, and success brings even more happiness. Success, in the dictionary, is defined as the achievement of something desired planned or attempted. Therefore, success cannot be judged by anyone than oneself. It is a personal thing. It is the realization of goals, desires or plans made by one's self. It is not measurable and yet is something we always use to compare others or appraise someone's worth . Success, in one form or another, is something that we will always be striving for. For some people it is something they will do subconsciously, and for others it will be something they will constantly labour for. Because success is something that is different for everyone, it is best that we measure our personal success by our own sense of self worth. To have succeeded is to have lived as you wanted; ' it is to have lived well and laughed often!';
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