Changing the Meaning of Success

Guest Blogger: Tiffany Pearson
Tri County High School Sophomore
Plymouth, Nebraska

Throughout our entire lives, we are taught success is the things we accomplish, and when we accomplish our goals, we will reach happiness. When we are toddlers, success is learning numbers 1-10. In grade school, it is mastering the art of cursive writing with your favorite number two pencil and also earning an A on your report card. As we grow older success bears more weight than it did when we were children playing on the slides of the playground after lunch. As a high school student, I can validate that success is in the numbers; the grades we acquire on our tests, the number of running yards or number of points we make in a game, the score we receive on the ACT. We are more often than not told if we work tirelessly for four years, make good grades, become involved in every organization possible, that we will likely get accepted into the college of our dreams from where we will then truly “find ourselves” and find honorable work in the field of study that we have been yearning for for the past however many years. From that point on, we are told success will be in finding a spouse with whom you may have a family with, and then their success, will ultimately, be your success.

Nevertheless, I have come to the point where I speculate true success is not in the numbers, or what college one attends, or even how large one’s yearly salary is, but it’s in something that others cannot see; it is about our mind and our heart. Which may be a bit cliche, but to me success is being undeniably, doubtlessly and plainly happy with myself and the place I call home.

Since I have reached this conjecture, I have been slowly formulating a list of moments that I believe are able to account for true happiness; here are just a few:

  • Loving yourself unconditionally
  • Being able to love the cards you were dealt, even if at one point, you want to deal your own cards
  • Being kind to those who others are not
  • Listening to music that encourages you to see the world through fresh eyes
  • Finding the rain in rainbows, metaphorically speaking, training your brain to see the beauty in everything
  • Setting goals, but finding success in the journey it takes to accomplish them
  • Finding moments in time when everything is going the way you want it to, and making a mental effort to document that specific time and recreate it
  • Being able to forgive those who have wronged you because you know their mindset is just different, and that’s perfectly okay
  • And most importantly, not allowing others to determine what your success should be. Whether you want to define your success in the grades you get and the places you’ll go, or in the mindset you have attained on your journey to reach the goals you have set in place.Image result for ecological literacy

As a high-school student, I think it is most definitely important to see the success in the smallest of moments every single day, even if your day was a complete wreck. This is apparent in the quote:

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it,” by David W. Orr.  in the book Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World written by Michael K. Stone, David W. Orr, and Fritjof Capra of Berkeley, California.

By changing our outlook on “success” and changing how we think about personal success it will help us live a more natural, kind, supportive and fulfilled lifestyle. I believe society will then know peace. In essence, while aiming for good grades, being involved in many things, and working hard at everything you do is a factor of life, it is important to remember that success can also be defined in being at peace with yourself and the simple things you have accomplished that make you, YOU.

I will leave with one last message – I challenge you, the reader, to find success in being a healer, a giver, and a nurturer; to not be angry with yourself because you didn’t get the grade you wanted, get elected for a position, or get the job that you really needed. Pride yourself on doing your best work, for putting yourself out there, and for breaking your own limits of what you thought defined you. Be overjoyed with the journey, and astoundingly excited for the rest of the trail that you will blaze.


Thank you Tiffany for sharing! You are the youngest blogger we have had to date.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s