Opinion: Defining success

Jackson Jogan '21, Supervising Page Editor

Success is defined differently for everyone. There is no true definition of success, because if there was, anyone would be able to achieve it. Everyone would know what they’re fighting to achieve at all times, and that seems pretty boring to me. The individuality of success is what makes it such a universally desired thing.
My definition of success stems from one simple question: am I happy? This single question defines the entire concept of success in my mind. I’m driven to reach the point where I can say yes, I’ve found happiness, and thus found success.
There are always going to be huge trade offs in life and at a young age, you might not want to face that. As a young person, I know I don’t want to face the fact that there will be things I miss out on in life. Sometimes that happens, though, and you have to be okay with that.
I find huge value in spending time with my friends, sometimes at the expense of other important things in my life. I do this because it is how I find happiness in my life. Finding success will undoubtedly require change though, as you never know what will make you happy, until you have it.
Our world expects so much from young people, that our minds are shielded from what is really important in life. When everyone is defining success for you, you never get to define it for yourself. Using someone else’s definition of success will always leave you feeling like you’re missing something. You have to find your own meaning because no one else’s is the same as yours.
I have found that prosperity equals success for most young people I know. I still have that idea in my own mind as well. I feel that prosperity is more than just money though. It’s finding peace of mind in the fact that I have achieved the things that are going to make me happy.
Basically, all I’m trying to say is that success comes in many shapes and sizes. Once you define what your success will be, you will have something to chase that is important to you. For young people in general, people will pressure you into achieving at a young age. Encouragement and advice are good things, but remember that your success isn’t the same as theirs.