My Definition of Success
“Once upon a time， there was a king who had a daughter as beautiful as a blooming rose. To all the suitors who came to the king's palace to ask for the hand of the princess, the old king assigned three tasks to be accomplished, each next to impossible. One day, into the king's palace came a handsome young prince..." Well, you know the rest. The three tasks may be different in different versions, but the main plot is always the same, with the prince claiming the princess's hand triumphantly.
And the ending is always the same, finishing with the line "And they live happily every after."
Why aren't we tired of something so fanciful, so unrealistic, and, I would say, so unimaginative? How can a story like that endure generations of repetition`? Because, I think, it is a typical success story. It is highly philosophical and symbolic. By implication, we see a 4-step definition of success: 1 ) a goal to be set. as represented by the beautiful princess; 2 ) challenges to be met, as represented by the three tasks; 3 ) the process of surmounting difficulties, as represented by the ordeals the youth goes through; and 4 ) the reward of success, as represented by the happy marriage.
The story not only caters to everyone's inward yearning for success, but also emphasizes the inseparability of the process and the result. The reward of success will be much amplified if the path leading towards it is treacherous, and vice versa. If a person inherits his father's millions and leads an easy life, he is not a successful person even in material terms, because there are no difficulties involved in his achieving affluence. The term "success", to be sure. will not sit still for easy definition. But as I understand it, the true meaning of success entails a combination of both the process and the satisfactory result of an endeavor. To clarify my view, let me give another analogy.
If we changed the rules of football, greatly enlarged the goal and sent away David Seaman or any other goal keeper, so that another David, namely David Beckham, could score easily, then scoring would not give him the thrill of accomplishment and the joy that it brings. If we further changed the rules by not allowing Arsenal's defenders to defend, so that Beckham needed only to lift a finger, actually a toe, to score, then there would be no game at all, because the meaning of winning would have disappeared. In accepting the challenge, in surmounting the difficulties and in enduring the hardship, success acquires its value. The sense of attainment varies in proportion to the degree of difficulties on overcomes.
The concept of success is not constant but relative because the nature of difficulty is also relative. Something you do effortlessly might pose a great difficulty for a handicapped person. In acquiring the ability to do the same as you can, he or she achieve success. That's why we greatly admire Stephen Hawking, because, though confined to a wheel chair, he has contributed greatly to the field of science.
I myself, a rather shy person by nature who easily suffer from stage fright, had to pluck up great courage to take part in a speech contest like this. I could have stayed away and had an easy time of it by not entering the university level contest.But I chose to accept the challenge and to face the difficulties. Now here I am. If I come out first, it will be a great success for me. If I come out last-I hope this will not be the case-but if I come out last, I will not call my attempt a failure, but will also celebrate it as a true success, because part of my goal is my own character training-to do more assertive, to be brave in face of difficulties. For me, it is a meaningful step forward, small as it is, in the long journey toward the final success in my life, because I have truly gained by participating.
Let us return to our handsome young prince and the 4-step definition of success. You my have noticed that the usual worldly criteria of wealth, position and fame were not mentioned as part of the story, but rather, it emphasized the process of overcoming difficulties. The ancient wisdom had already defined the meaning of success, and this is my definition, too.
Today I am very glad to be here to share with you my ideas of success. What is success? It is what everyone is longing for.Sometimes success would be rather simple. Winning a game is success; getting a high grade in the exam is success; making a new friend is success; even now I am standing here giving my speech is somehow also success.
However, as a person’s whole life is concerned, success becomes very complicated. Is fortune success? Is fame success? Is high social status success? No, I don’t think so. I believe success is the realization of people’s hopes and ideals.Nowadays, in the modern society there are many people who are regarded as the successful. And the most obvious characteristics of hem are money, high position and luxurious life. So most people believe that s success and all that they do is for this purpose. But the problem is wether it is real success. We all know there are always more money, higher position and better condition in front of us. If we keep chasing them, where is the end? What will satisfy us at last? Therefore, we can see, to get the real Success we must need something inside, which is the realization of people’ hopes and ideals.
Different people have different ideas about success; cause people’s hopes and ideas vary from one another. But I am sure every success is dear to everybody, cause it is not easy to come by, cause in the process of our striving for success, we got both our body and soul tempted, meanwhile we are enlightened by the most valuable qualities of human beings: love, patient, courage and sense of responsibility. These are the best treasures. So now I am very proud that I have this opportunity to stand here speaking to all of you. It is my success, cause I raise up to challenge my hope.
What is success? Everyone has his own interpretation as II do. But I am sure every success leads to an ever-brighter future. So ladies and gentlemen, believe in our hopes, believe in ourselves, we, every one of us, can make a successful life! Wish you all good success!
For some, success is defined in terms of the dollar amount on a paycheck. For others, it's the title on their business card. Others may define success in terms of the accolades and awards they have won.
But the problem with how people define success these days is that when they're forced to change it, they can't. Look at the businessmen who have committed suicide because they have lost fortunes. Consider the workers who are fired and then go back to work, armed with a gun.
Extreme cases, sure. Not everyone considers killing themselves or others when their livelihood is threatened. But it does point out that maybe we need to revisit our own definition of success.
Start by completing this definition: "Success to me is…"
After you complete this sentence, then review it and determine if you're on the path to achieving that success. If you were to lose your job or money tomorrow, would your definition of success still be valid? Or, would you consider yourself a failure?
I remember a job where I worked long, stressful hours and often labored for a boss who had mood swings like a freaking roller coaster. It made for a tense situation, to say the least. One day I was talking to a co-worker and the exhaustion was overwhelming. I felt so dissatisfied, frustrated and even angry. Then it hit me: If I died that day, I didn't want the only thing on my tombstone to be "Always met her deadlines."
Ugh, I remember thinking. I wanted my life to account for more than that. It wasn't until months later that I started making some real changes in my life, changes that I know made me much better able to balance my life and devote time and effort to more than my job.
Right now, times are tough and some of us are beginning to panic. But I think it's a golden opportunity to really think about what is important in your life, and weed out the things that don't really matter.
You are the one who must define what success is to you. One thing I know for sure: You are more than a job title, you are worth more than a number on a paycheck and you are more than an award to hang on your wall. Is the destination you have in mind worth the road you must travel? Only you can answer that.