Since When did Success = Money?
Success is an interesting word. Growing up, I (like most other teenagers) believe that being successful meant having a high powered job, earning the most money that I could be making in my job or due to my skill set, and providing lavish things for my family. This was the mentality that I had and what drove me throughout high school; that’s what I thought it meant to be successful. Upon entering USC and starting to learn who I really was as a person and what my long-term goals were in life, I started to think about this concept again, of what it meant to be successful. And when I sat down and thought about what I believed constituted successful, I realized that the approach I previously believed in was quite superficial; it wasn’t the proper mentality to have as I strove to excel in my classes and in other activities here at USC. I knew that I needed to sit back and really think about what the right mindset I should have going forward at USC and what I should define as success so that I knew what to strive for throughout my education and beyond.
What followed next was a shifting of my personal mindset and motivation as I came to the realization what really made me happy was achieving the goals that I set out for myself, being passionate about all that I do (as well about my career path), and being a role model—someone who influences others and creates a path for others to follow. This is what I believe true success is: accomplishing the series goals that you set for yourself that make you a better, stronger, and more capable individual so that at the end of the day you can look at yourself in the mirror and say that you are truly happy. You have to be passionate in order to be successful because success cannot be defined in monetary terms, and because the notion of success if different for every individual—which is defined by different people according to their passions. What I came to realize was that if I can be successful in achieving what I am passionate about and fulfilling the goals that I set out for myself (in regards to my career, family, and friends), all of the things that I previously defined as constituting success (money, material items) will come and be present in levels that I will be happy with. The monetary definition of success is secondary because it is more of something that if partially in your control, but mostly in the control of forces that we have no influence over.
However, you do have the control over yourself and in striving to achieve your passions, which is why you have control over your own success. Because at the end of the day, I realized that success is a relative term and cannot be concretized to fit any one specific definition. It can only truly be defined on the individual level, and thus for me, I realized that I will achieve success if I can put myself in a position where I am passionate about doing what I do and am readily able to accomplish the personal, family, and societal goals that I set out for myself. That’s what I believe defines success, and so long as I am able to keep that mindset and strive for things that I am passionate about, then I will be able to call myself successful in my own right.