My Definition of Success Essay Example

A typical story of success will almost always conclude with reaching a goal or dream, but does achieving the desired goal define what success truly is? If not, how does one define, measure, and achieve success? Success can be anything that an individual wants it to be. For most people, that means achieving a specific dream or goal, while also being happy in life; however, sometimes within success, there is a struggle to achieve it. To measure success, one must be able to reach for their dreams, want it badly, and try their absolute best, even when times look down. It is how one overcomes those struggles and endures through the pain and effort, that one achieves success.

In the movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, Chris Gardner shows that pursuing through tough times and trying his hardest is important to succeed. In The Pursuit of Happiness, Chris Gardner is struggling to make ends meet for his family of three as he copes with stress. He invests in a device called a bone density scanner and is struggling to sell them. In the midst of chaos, Chris’ wife leaves him with his five-year-old son to take care of upon his own. Though he is homeless and looking for a place to sleep every night, Chris takes on the situation head-on and applies for an internship as a stockbroker, competing against many others for the job (Muccino). Chris does not abandon his dreams, and he perseveres through his pain to overcome failure. He is able to get the job by putting in more effort and quality into every minute of his work than anyone else. Also, Chris is extremely ambitious and perseveres relentlessly when someone steals his bone density scanner not once, but two times (Muccino). When Chris feels down, he always finds a way to complete the task no matter what it is. He does not waste a second when trying to find his scanner to try to regain ownership. Through his perseverance, Chris is successful in getting his stolen items back both times they are stolen. The Pursuit of Happiness is a prime example in demonstrating that no matter how low in life one is, there is always a way to overcome that obstacle to achieve success.

In “The Scarlet Ibis”, Doodle-- a disabled, small, hard-working young boy-- is able to defeat the odds in order to show that to measure success, one must know their goals and limits, and take into account that failure is possible; also, they must be able to use their disadvantages to help them power through any conflicts in their journey to success. For example, Doodle works hard for months to learn how to walk without his go-kart: “Within a few months Doodle [learns] to walk well and his go-cart [is] put up in the barn loft (it's still there) beside his little mahogany coffin” (Hurst pg # here). Doodle knows that success won’t come immediately, and works diligently with the help of his brother for several months despite the pain. After that, Doodle and Brother set up a plan to learn several activities before school starts: “ I [will] teach him to run, to swim, to climb trees, and to fight” (Hurst pg # here). After knowing that Doodle can accomplish walking through Brother’s training, Doodle and Brother create a plan to accomplish many other activities. Doodle will not surrender until he has achieved his goals. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, Doodle and Brother show that through hard work and determination, one can defeat the odds and achieve their desires.

Ultimately, one must be able to define what success is to them and measure it to their best capability to achieve success. It may be hard, but when looking back at life when it is all over, one will see that even though they might have felt like a failure at the time, everything they did in life was worth it in the end-- and that they are ultimately successful in life. The effort they put in and the ability to overcome struggle was all to take a prominent step toward their success. Living on Earth is something that every person only gets to do once, but all in all, success is only determined by how one defines, measures, and achieves success; even so, how they do it is what sets every individual apart from each other.


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