We are all engineered in some way to be successful, our desire to attain success is what drives us as humans each day. The big question we need to ask ourselves is what is success, as for each individual this would vary. For some, success could be monetary, that is, wealth, climbing up the corporate ladder, or completing a qualification. It could also be marrying the love of your life, holding your kids in your arms and one day watch them grow into disciplined, well-mannered adults. The definition of success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”, however, each person will travel down a unique path to success and in turn encounter various hurdles.
With Success comes its paralyzing twin “Failure”. Along the journey to success, there are many valleys one has to traverse through, one might even face cliff-hanging moments in order to experience the mountain top or pinnacle of success. These nerve-wracking moments can either make you or break you. In order to make it, one has to accept the consequences that come with success, which is the altering impact a challenge may present. Failure has become the stop sign to many. Anticipating failure, some have given up on their dreams or worse, lost all hope in life itself. We need to come to a realization that failure is not a stop sign but rather, a traffic light. When one approaches the red light of a goal, it is time to pause and re-evaluate its position. It is in mistakes that one finds solutions. A quote by Winston Churchill – “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. I say – “Failure is only a stepping stone to success, not a mountain blocking our path”.
We are governed by family, social, and educational standards of success which in turn add pressure on a person. Every person is created differently with a unique set of strengths. Success cannot be generalized as it is not a one size fit all. As young kids, we are trained that achieving the best grades or selecting a specific set of subjects will in turn ensure success. Scholars who do not achieve educational benchmarks set by parents or educators are reprimanded and frowned upon. Has society, and more so, parents or teachers taken the time to converse with kids to identify their passion and ask what gifts do their children have? How can their strengths be channeled in the right direction?
We have been brainwashed on what the idea of success should look like. Success does not come wrapped up as a lawyer, accountant or doctor. Parents need to help develop the latent talents of their children by placing the correct tools in their hands. They should help their children become the best versions of themselves and not force their ideas of success upon them. An important quote by Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. “
The foundation that is set for a child by societies’ standards becomes a stumbling block as one reaches adulthood. The illusion of success is now based on what others have achieved, what is portrayed on social media or by celebrities. Our personal walk to success becomes a rat race because we forget what our unique gifts are. As adults, success is now symbolized by fancy cars, luxury houses, expensive brands. Wealth accumulation has become the new mantra. The more we chase after fairy tale success, the deeper we sink into a quagmire of misery. Everyone needs to run their own race, and if we stay in our lane, we will have the ability to overcome the challenges on the way to our personal road to success.
Scottish Qualifications Authority, UK
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