What is the meaning of success?

As college students we all bear the common goal of one day attaining what we like to think of as success. But what is success really?

The simplest definition of success is to accomplish one's aim or purpose. Some people's goals may be to become famous and noticed by the entire world. Some may aspire to get married and start that picture perfect family they always dreamed of. Whatever one's purpose in life is, success is achieved when the goal has been reached.

I feel as though a person's goals can be driven by many different factors. For example, a girl may desperately want to get married because her entire life she has lived in fear of being alone and unwanted. Finding a husband would be her greatest aspiration in life because she would finally feel fulfilled.

Another example could be a person who hungers for great wealth because they see wealth as power and feel the need to have that power to assert their own dominance in this world. A person may work themselves to death trying to become successful because they want be accepted or praised by others.

Now I certainly don't think that it wouldn't be nice to have more money, be famous or find love but, I do take issue with those who are driven to their goals by the wrong reasons. There should not be a negative reinforcement that drives people to their destination. Yes, we can all appreciate the smiling actress on the screen and maybe even be inspired by her. But the decision to become that actress should be because we want to, not because we feel like we have to.  No one should pursue fame, fortune and love because they feel like they can never be happy without it.

That is a terrible mindset. When your ambition is fueled by negative reinforcement you will do most anything to get it and usually not in a good way. You will find yourself doing things you never thought you would do and become so blinded by your thirst for “success” you destroy many parts of your life you actually held dear.

Say after many years of working yourself to death, forsaking your health and cutting yourself off from everyone in your life,  you finally reach your goal. You are the owner of your own company and you have more money than you can ever spend. But you have no friends to celebrate with, no family to come home to and nothing else in your life to give you satisfaction.

You thought your “success” would give you all the happiness you desired but maybe you were wrong. Could you honestly say that it was worth it? Did you enjoy yourself at all on your journey and now that you've met your goal, do you feel like you have succeeded?

You can have your white picket fence, you can be in movies, get a trophy wife and still feel the lack of fulfillment. Success to me, lies in the feeling of happiness you get looking back on your ENTIRE life.

Can you honestly say that you are doing something right now that makes you happy? And did you have any fun getting here? Stick to a goal that relies solely on YOUR feelings. Don't worry about how your dreams will be seen by others. When you make decisions based completely on your desires alone you can easily find success so long as you never give up on it.