~~If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to lead a life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Henry David Thoreau
What is success?
Is it the process of doing a task and receiving a positive result, or is it simply achieving ones own personal goals?
Ones ability to succeed in life is almost directly related to an image of the perception of what success is. Many of America’s most successful businessmen, such as J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, understood what it took to survive in the rapidly evolving business world. Their belief was that success is tangible only through smart business interactions and good money management, personality and good looks only serve as a bonus.
Rene Gallimard in Madame Butterfly and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman evidently did not grasp these experts’ concept of success. Both Willy Loman and Rene Gallimard define success as their antithesis, and measure their level of accomplishment against their individual barometers for success. Willy Loman preaches that success comes hand in hand with a great smile and a jovial personality but he believes that success is hidden in far off opportunities. Rene Gallimard defines a successful person as one who has the ability to control and maintain power over another. Both of these images are tainted because they are simply representations of their maligned, surrogate images of success.
Success isnt about being well-liked or making a girl surrender to you. Success is about setting personal goals, and following through with them. The goal can be anything like graduation, good grades, getting a job, etc. Whether you achieve a specific, desired result or not, is irrelevant, you succeed simply through the attempt. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whos face is marred by dust, sweat, and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. (Roosevelt)
But do all people share this opinion on success? To some succeeding, or winning, is the most important factor in their life. To a college basketball coach, like Mike Krzyzewski, Winning is not a sometime thing; its an all the time thing. You dont win once and a while; you dont do things right once and a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit, and unfortunately so is losing. However, I disagree with this opinion.
Win or lose, success comes by attempting tasks that are difficult and challenging. To most of us, tying a shoe is a practice that has become very common, but to a handicapped child this can be a huge endeavor, the difference between complete autonomy and dependence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, as quoted in the book Unlimited Power, wrote To laugh often; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. (Emerson). I believe he is right. Success is all around us. Success is the opposite of failure; to fail is to forfeit any effort in the attempt. To succeed is neither about win or losing. It is not through stacks of currency that man should be measured. It is the will to do. Success is the struggle in the attempt- the triumph of victory only an afterthought. Ask any gold medallist, doctor, lawyer, bricklayer, teacher, or Wal-mart employee. Expect to hear something like this, The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.