The True Meaning of Success
What do you think is interchangeably on the mind of every athlete before a race or game, any student before an assignment, a director or lead actor/actress of a movie, an army general sending troops into battle, etc.? The list could go on forever but the answer is simple, success. Success is accomplishing a purpose or something you preemptively set out to do. It is the gain of popularity or wealth made by a person accomplishing a goal. It is a word many often seek but scarcely gain.
Success is not something that is just handed out like free samples at a Costco. Success is earned by the person who gains it. If you are born into a successful family with wealth and influence you can still be a failure if you just sit complacent and let it happen. You can be the child of a star baseball player and grow up to not even know how to throw a baseball properly if you don’t do anything about that. Success is earned through hard work, determination, learning, and much more. It’s may not be easy but the best things in life aren’t.
Although you can go out thinking “I’m gonna be successful” in whatever it is you do, it is much better to go out hoping for success and worrying more about what you can learn from that endeavor. The more knowledge you collect through attempts at something the better. Then, the next time you take a crack at it, you are more prepared and knowledgeable about what you’re getting yourself into. This is why you need that determination, to keep on fighting. When you fail once and just give up you are not giving yourself the proper chance at success. You may not succeed on the first undertaking but that doesn’t mean you just throw in the towel. If anything you should use that as more incentive to pick yourself up and try again.
Look at someone like Michael Phelps for example. Do you think he got 23 gold medals at the Olympics from just luck. He worked at it as much as he could and look where that got him: 28 total Olympic medals, and he is now known as “the most decorated athlete in Olympic history”. Phelps’s legendary coach Bob Bowman gave his “golden rules” to obtain success and I would just like to elaborate on a couple of those rules. “Have a vision”- Having a vision is conjuring up an image of what you want to do and where you want to go with whatever it is you do. Envision yourself striking that batter out, touching that wall before everyone else, crossing that finish line first, or reaching whatever goal it is you set out to do. Having a proper vision of goals you want to achieve provides a sensational motivation to get out of bed in the morning and practice to work at that goal. “Celebrate success”- Celebrating success is making sure every little victory you get doesn’t go unnoticed. Victory in any form should be celebrated. It shows how far you’ve come from when you set out for success and now. You may not get to the goal that you visualized but that doesn’t mean don’t celebrate. You may mess up from time to time but that shouldn’t make you lose sight of your goals. Bowman says “Keep moving forward, like a swimmer with practiced strokes, and let the wisdom you’ve gained over time guide you. Your destination may be closer than you think.” This couldn’t be more accurate. Failure doesn’t mean the end of your days. Don’t let your mind empty your head of your vision and fill it with thoughts of failure. If you fall down it’s much easier to let yourself stay in that place than it is to pick yourself back up.
Success is one of the many key features in our development as people. For some it defines who they are, and for others it is a goal to work towards. For me success as an athlete strikes home the most. As a competitive swimmer my goal is always to improve my technique and get faster and faster. By doing so I will reach the times I set for myself. This will have been done through my hard work, the coaches advice and recommendations, and my team’s helpful and encouraging words.
Aiming for success is, I feel, a very important thing for us to do as people. Without the drive for success nobody would be the best that they can be. If product creators didn’t rival each other for success, products would never become better and more efficient. Success is a driving force in our society that grows not only the people but the world around them as well. Success although scarcely earned, should be strived for because if anybody shot for success based on the odds, nobody would even try. If you truly want success in whatever career it is that you pursue, work hard, work smart, and never even think about giving up.