In the last few centuries, the definition of success has changed because of people and their different perspectives. Have you ever thought about what success actually means? The only one who can answer this question is you. A key step to achieving in life is to know what success means to you. Your interpretation can go far beyond the common definition of success which is usually having degrees and money.
True success can't be measured with the above-named factors, but instead with the number of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what they did with their time on earth. This is my definition of success — not the trophies and accolades people collect throughout their lives.
Media and society often lead us to conclude that living a successful life means you are exorbitantly wealthy and have a lot of tangibles. Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host and television producer with a net worth of $2.9 billion. In 2008 at Stanford University's commencement ceremony she said, “Having a lot of money does not automatically make you a successful person,” and that “What you want is money and meaning. You want your work to be meaningful. Because meaning is what brings real richness to your life.”
Defining success is important, but taking a clear-eyed look at the impact of your “success” matters even more. For example, if you wake up every day at 4 o’clock and pursue a rich and varied personal life and you are still unhappy, you haven't embraced the fact that what you choose to do will not make you happy.
Alysa Williams works at Boston International High, and her definition of success has changed as she grew up. “When I was younger, I had the idea that success was like one instance,” she said. “When I was in high school, it was like, ‘I will be successful when I graduate’ ... but now [I’m] realizing it's kind of an ongoing journey and there are multiple success stories in your life and you have to keep finding them.”
Hamilton Deivega is a senior at BINcA from Cape Verde whose perspective has also changed. “When I was in my country, I thought success means to have a lot of money and to have a big family,” he said. “Now I realized success is to be happy enjoying life and enjoying your family because success has [no] limit. It's around us.”
I remember being in a competition and feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness when my teammates and I won. I remember how excited we were to pick up our trophy. We couldn’t wait to take a picture of us smiling and shouting with the trophy. After celebrating, everything became normal again. Then I realized that success is not something temporary. Success is permanent through helping others and lifting each other up. Success is not the key to happiness — happiness is the key to success.