Is success determined by achieving everything you ever wanted? Is it determined by how much education and achievements you garnered? Is it determined by how well known you are or how much power you have? Or is it determined by how much money you make?
Each person has their own definition of success, but in my opinion it’s neither of those of things I listed above. I’ve met a lot of people who would define success as either one of those things. I don’t condemn them for their personal belief of what success is, but I was raised and grew up on a different concept.
Understanding happiness, and sharing that happiness, is the purpose of human life. The happiness that I’m speaking of, is the happiness of Gandhi, standing thin and tired in a world of hate…the happiness of Dr. Martin Luther King under the oppression of racist men, the happiness of Mother Teresa in a village of dying children.
A person who finds that happiness will have reached success in life. We have the ability to see all the good and bad, and choose to spread happiness, rather than hate. In my opinion my definition of success is overcoming staggering obstacles in your life to reach happiness you’ve always wanted and dreamed of. Success isn’t something you reach for other people, but only for yourself.
I know it sounds kind of corny or something out of a Disney movie, but based off the people I’ve seen obtain and experience it, that’s the image and concept that stuck with me. Athletes, actors and politicians achieve a great deal of success that get recognized, but I see success all around me.
I see successful people on TV and the internet everyday that get glorified, but everyday people who achieve success everyday is what I really pay attention to. I’ve seen a young woman who had four kids graduate from Georgia State University and get a job that required two years prior working experience in business; to which she had none. She was in school for eight years on and off, working at Macy’s through that time period.
I’ve witnessed two homeless people overcome their circumstances and achieve their dream. One of them was staying with my family for about two months until he learned how to cut hair proficiently. He got his license to become a barber shortly after. Now he is working in a barbershop and participates in global barber competitions.
The other was a person I worked for a summer. He was abandoned at 14 and managed to get into college. Even though he dropped out of college and was living on the street, he read books about business, psychology and technology. After reading numerous books, he amassed business and technological knowledge that lead him to open a cell phone repair shop business.
My best friend throughout high school was a little known swimmer. During our senior year of high school he thought he wasn’t going to get offered a scholarship by any school. It got to the point where he was going to a community college because his family couldn’t afford the cost of a four year school. Then near our graduation date he got offered a scholarship from a small college in Mississippi to swim. After four years of swimming there he has a chance to be swimming for the U.S. Olympic team next year.
All of those people I’ve listed are successful in my eyes because they overcame stifling odds to achieve their dreams. They pushed way past their human limits to reach success and they aspire me everyday to do the same everyday.
Witnessing all these people close to me reaching success pushes me to do the same in excruciating ways mentally and physically. It gives me a drive that would drive any sane person mad. I dream and breathe for success because I feel I have some importance in this life.
Not to sound like a narcissist, but deep down that’s what I feel when I look in the mirror everyday at myself. I don’t know what my purpose is yet, but I feel I’m close in finding it. Success is a concept that eats at my soul and mind. It keeps me up at night and ultimately is my greatest fear if I don’t achieve it.
I would be lying if I said I don’t feel a envy or jealousy when the people close to me achieve success. Envy and jealousy is a basic human emotion, so it’s normal. I honestly just tell myself be happy for them when I see or hear about them. But when I see them achieve success I really just want to experience it with them. The depths I would go to achieve success is unfathomable.
Not to alarm or scare anyone, I don’t mean sacrificing a life or perform evil deeds. I simply mean to challenge myself in a way that I know no one else can. My family and friends have some influence on that, but mostly it’s just something I want to achieve for myself. I’m willing to be open and put a god-like work ethic to reach success.
I’ve studied hard so I could transfer to Georgia State to get a degree in journalism. I’ve work three jobs at the same time just to get myself a car. I’ve learned all I can learn from different people and things.
I just pray hopefully all my hard work will pay off. It drives me crazy to see people who put in little effort in everything they do and have everything just fall into their lap. While I’m working my ass off and going through hell just to breathe. Most people would say its just luck or the universe was in a fix, but it baffles me whenever it happens.
I hope this an insight or motivation to strive for greatness or success to whomever reads this. I’m 21-years-old and still attending Georgia State University pursuing for a career in music. I am a firm believer of following one’s dreams, so I encourage people to do so because at the end of the day it’s your life and no one else’s. I admire people like Will Smith in what he says about hard work. They’re so many quotes about success and work ethic that influences me, but this stuck out.
Will Smith was quoted saying “If you’re not willing to work hard, let someone else do it. I’d rather be with someone who does a horrible job, but gives 110% than with someone who does a good job and gives 60%. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping? I’m working.”