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What Meanings Are Hidden in the Word “Success”?

Success. What are you imagining right now? For most of people this word is colored in gold and wrapped in a silk handkerchief. Yes, most of our associations are connected with wealth or fame, but it is only one side of understanding of the true meaning.

First prize winner

So what is the meaning of success?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, success is “the achieving of the results wanted or hoped for; something that achieves positive results”. As we can see, it is a very abstract explanation. If you read it out loud to children, they will barely have a very material, financial image of success. For them catching a snowflake without having it melted is a success already, and it will be exactly what the initial meaning is about.

Who can be called successful?

We are raised to believe, that success is the label that only society can stick on you. On the contrary, isn’t a person supposed to decide this on their own? Basically, successful means, that you are good enough at something, even though there is always a room for improvement. If you let others define how successful you are, remember, that it is very relative. The author of love stories might find the novels of a scientific fictionist senseless. A professor might judge a teacher for not getting a higher position. But what should be remembered is that the world needs all kinds of fiction and non-fiction books, and both teachers and professors should be there to teach the younger generation.

Jeffrey has always been interested in crimes, laws and solving the mysteries. Parents found him asleep with “Sherlock Holmes” books still opened multiple times. They watched their kid and noticed his interests, so they advised him to enter the university and study law. He is known to be a successful lawyer now, but has a secret he’s ashamed to talk about. Jeffrey has been writing detective stories since he was 12. He is afraid that trying to publish the stories will make him look ridiculous, but the risk of being criticized seems to be even worse.

A man writing

Mary has a talent of composing good stories. She works as a teacher and uses her talent to make the lessons more interesting. In the evening she makes up fairytales for her kids before they go to bed. Friends tell Mary, that she can become a successful writer, but Mary replies, that she is successful already. “But you can earn good money!” – they say. “I have enough money, and I like creating the stories that the kids I know will like. I like seeing little sparkles in their eyes when they listen.”

So, who is more successful after all?

Being successful is amazing, and will truly make you fulfilled as long as you are sure you have followed your own way to the real success as you have understood and wanted it.

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