This is what has been incessantly nagging at my brain lately. Things keep popping up that lead me right back to thinking about success, what it is, what it means to me, and how I can achieve it. Class lectures, memes, and my multitudinous readings all have this theme of success ingrained into them but little explanation as to what it is. I’m left to figure out what exactly constitutes success.
So I turned to my beloved dictionary and looked up the actual definition of the word success. This is what I found:
1. (obsolete) outcome, result
2a. degree or measure of succeeding
2b. favorable or desired outcome; (also) the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
3. one that succeeds
Since I hate the idea of defining a word with another form of the same word, 2a and 3 are automatically out. And of course, 1 is out because, as noted, it’s obsolete. So that leaves 2b.
For me, definition 2b seems to be the best definition of success. The first half, anyway. “Favorable or desired outcome.” It seems to imply that there isn’t really one set definition of success, which is completely true in my opinion. Success holds a different meaning for each individual.
My definition of success holds true for me and me alone. I would consider myself successful if I developed into an independent, sociable, financially stable young woman. But that’s only part of it. I wouldn’t consider myself a complete success until I established myself as a professional writer. This does not necessarily mean a famous writer, but merely a regularly published one who might get paid for her work. Becoming a reporter would fulfill my requirement. And if I do become a household name in the process, then so be it.
That’s it. That’s all that it would take for me to be a self-proclaimed success. Maybe that isn’t someone else’s idea of success. Maybe they’re more interested in the second half of definition 2, “attaining wealth, favor, or eminence.” And that’s far from wrong. Society seems to tell us that these are the keys to success, and in some realms that could very well be true. A businessman would certainly want his business to be lucrative; his life is devoted to making money. An actor would love to score a role on Broadway or in Hollywood. These things all define success. And all these goals express the individuality of what success actually is.
But there’s more to success than just knowing one’s personal definition. Now that I have my definition of success, I need to figure out how to get there. That part is really what’s been so thought-provoking and stress-inducing. The field I want to go into is so mercurial and competitive that I need to make myself stand out among the throngs of people vying for the same position. I need to do everything right, then do a little bit extra, to reach my goal of success.
My New Year’s Resolution is part of this. Writing more and in a variety of styles will help to develop my writing skills and build a portfolio of writing samples. This blog, my contributions to the school newspaper, and whatever fiction I have time for will bring together a diverse sampling of my skills, which could be very beneficial. Yet there’s even more to it than just writing.
A huge part of whether or not I will be successful in the writing business comes down to being a savvy job-hunter and self-marketer. Resumes, networking, internships… These seem to be the necessary items for finding a job. And I’ve been focusing a great deal of my attention and energy on theses things, particularly since the very beginning of 2012. I’m determined to make myself look good on paper (writer joke!).
Success has been taking up a great deal of my time, even though I haven’t quite accomplished it yet. It’s work– work that I need to get a jump on. Four years of college won’t hide me from the real world for long. I’m already in the second semester of my first year. And by starting to work toward my goal of success, it’s more likely that I’ll reach it. Wish me luck!
P.S. I apologize for being late on this post. Kind of a crazy week. I’ll be sure to stay on track in the future.
6 thoughts on “I Think I Can…”
Good stuff, Caelie. I am always impressed with your work 🙂
Thanks, Caleb! I try to be impressive. I appreciate your reading my stuff.
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