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What Does Success Really Mean to You?

by Sarah Elizabeth 4 years ago in success
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Life of a College Graduate

While I was studying for my summer classes, I was thinking of this simple word otherwise known as "success." I am pretty sure everyone has a good idea what the definition success means, but what does it mean to you? Although it may seem easy to define success, have you thought about it long enough? I mean have you thought about it thoroughly and not just googled the definition? I will google it anyway. If I just type 'success' in the google search bar, everyone will see that success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose." Yes, the internet may be right and allow the usage of technology to help us with this definition, but there is more to that than meets the eye. I have pondered about this a lot.

I found it quite heartbreaking that most Millennials firmly believe that being successful means to have a great career that allows you to spend money leisurely. Is that what we should be thinking, that our success is measured by our income? Yes, I admit there will be successful doctors, lawyers, and other Steve Jobs, but that is not the point.

Success should be seen as our continuations throughout our triumphs and failures. At some point in our lives, or at least in mine, I have had experienced some failures throughout the course of life. Our failures taught us the old saying:

"If at first, you don't succeed, try, try, try again."

Whoever wrote this quote was brilliant. It may sound cheesy, but there is a lot of truth in that. I have learned to be patient and enjoy the moments that can take our breath away because success will come to those who are persistent.

Another thing I would like to share with others, especially those who recently graduated from college:

"I know how hard it is when you don't get the exact job you wanted, but hang in there! Take some jobs working as a waitress/waiter to pay off some of your student loans or work at the university or anything you can get your hands on temporarily. And wait patiently for a door that opens for a real job."

For others that just graduated high school:

"It is okay if you don't know what you want to do; you have your whole life to figure it out. Just realize that there are many people in the world that didn't know what their purpose in life in their twenties. Look at Vera Wang, for instance. Many people saw her as a successful fashion designer with clothes sold worldwide. She didn't know she wanted to be a fashion designer until she was hitting her forties.

Be happy. Don't change who you are to make others happy and you may find that one thing you are passionate about."

I am of guilty of doing this; I have realized grades in high school and college are important to help us start our path, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we should let them be our ultimatum if we fall short in our goals. After all, success helps us continue to strive to be better and just because we have succeeded in our future endeavors doesn't mean the road just stops. No, it doesn't. Life is too short to spend your time studying all the time; I have learned the importance of balancing studies and friends.

I have known people in my life that may share the same guilt of overstudying, but when I find the time to do what I am passionate about, I will make up for the lost time. I have known people that only care about studying Pre-Law or Pre-Med. Years from now, will that really matter? I mean, it's great to have ambition and the willpower to do it, but did you find any hobbies that you can do leisurely and relax? Do you just want to be a doctor, lawyer because you know you are smart enough to do it, or do you love it? Do you think it's more important to have more money that makes people envy you or find something that allows you contribute to help the world a little bit by helping local charities? When I say helping local charities, I do not mean just giving money away, but rather volunteering and inspiring the younger generation to look around and see the good in the world we live in even when drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and shootings never cease to exist.

Success is more than just receiving recognition or a medal, it has taught us that we should be brave and sometimes take a step backward and read Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." I know many of you are thinking, we read that a million times in middle school and high school, but maybe it is because our teachers wanted us to absorb information from this form of poetry within our lives. I think our teachers wanted us to learn that it is okay for us to take a detour into the mystery of darkness and learn about ourselves. Maybe for some, it is learning that there are things that an academic setting can't teach. Maybe for some people it is about learning how to create art, travel, or even something as simple as hiking and enjoying the sunset and taking the time the find the real you, engaging and firing with a spark. You will never know what you want unless you try. I have learned a lot throughout the years about myself.

My hope is that you have learned a lot, as well as me. May God bless everyone and remember the journey will never end until you die, so live life to the fullest and share your life adventures with friends. And please, I would recommend everyone reread "The Road Not Taken" to find the deep inner meaning of Robert Frost's message within your heart and express it to your friends, neighbors, family members, and the community.


About the author

Sarah Elizabeth

Future physical therapist and recent graduate. Love to be outside and write and read.

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