What is the measure of success?

Success has various definitions depending on how one interprets it. Some may look at it as achieving higher education, having a lot of money or even still having a happy family.

Success has various definitions depending on how one interprets it. Some may look at it as achieving higher education, having a lot of money or even still having a happy family.

While growing up as a young boy, my teachers used to put in a lot of emphasis on education. They would tell us to read hard so that we could become lawyers, doctors, engineers etc. In fact even today when you ask a student the career path he would like to follow, the most likely answers would be doctors and other glamorous professions. According to this lot, success is measured with grades and professions that are deemed to be the best in the world.

A good friend of mine once told me that someone only becomes successful when he has good money. His reasoning is that with money, all your problems can be solved. He argues that people work tirelessly day and night in order to get money for paying bills and save a little for their retirement. Even after such a convincing answer, I still had to ask him whether the same money that he treasures most can buy him love, happiness, trust, integrity, honesty and all the positive virtues one should have in a society.

The world today is full of challenges and as such people tend to have alternatives to every problem at hand. This makes some people to think that a problem solver qualifies to be called a successful person. Some even say that if you follow the scripture to the letter, then you measure to this qualification. Can we therefore say that our pastors and other men of God are successful people?

Another school of thought argues that to be successful, one needs to have bid goodbye to this world. They believe that other people should be able to give testimony at your burial site that there lived a successful man or woman. This group believes that while still alive, we can do bad things that will negate all the good things that we had done previously. For example if we look at the likes of Diego Maradona, Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne and other famous athletes who had illustrious careers but later spoiled them with drugs, alcohol and other scandals, they put a question mark to the definition of success.

All in all, how you measure success depends on yourself. Success may have various definitions but even then, there should be an element of hard work, diligence, honesty and all positive values in a person. One should also be careful not boast around of the little things he has done because we never know what tomorrow brings.

The writer is a teacher at Riviera High School

 

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