There has been a misconception that has been created mostly by the mainstream media to explain the meaning and the definition of success. A person who is rich and famous and who exhibits such traits as being confident, joyful and popular may be said to be a successful person. Marketers and the mainstream media have succeeded in making the whole society believe that success means having a lot of money and being famous and popular. The society has adopted the definition of success to be that of living in a big house, driving the flashiest vehicle and living in the upper suburbs. Marketers and the mainstream media have made people believe that having a lot of money and access to the current technology and fashion is the main thing that lead to happiness, and ultimately, leading to success.
The truth is, there is a discrepancy between what the society takes to be the definition of success and what the actual success means. Success deserves respect. True success requires integrity. True success requires appreciation. True success is full of patience. Respect, patience, integrity and appreciation are some of the traits that most human beings find hard to attain. The modern marketers and the mainstream media always tend to deceive people on what the real success is. They make us believe that success is having a lot of money. When we buy this idea and definition of success, we tend to be impatient in our quest to be successful. Since we want to have a lot of money, and faster so that we can be termed as successful, we fail to uphold our integrity. We, therefore, lose our respect, and we don’t warrant to be appreciated in whatever means (Kennedy, 114).
People believe that pursuing money is what will make them achieve success. To do this, they live a selfish life in the name of saving. True success is not selfish. True success involves living a giving life and sharing that what we have with the less fortunate in the society. Although it is not disputable that money can buy the things that seem to make our life much more comfortable, living a successful life requires more than just having a lot of money. It is undisputable to say that money makes life easier, but it does not make the life of a person a successful one. For instance, having a lot of money is not a direct assurance that one will be knowledgeable and wise. Knowledge and wisdom are two things that come from hard work and commitment to study. Therefore, a person who is well knowledgeable and wise may be said to be successful regardless of the size of their pockets and bank account.
Knowledge, respect, wisdom, love and patience are some of the aspects of success. A successful person has learnt to respect every other person over time. A successful person is wise enough to accept that love is the main component that makes life fruitful. A successful person is patient enough and accepts the fact that knowledge is a continuous process that continues for as long as a person is alive (Elder and Rand, 24).
For a long time, people have taken fame and popularity to be synonyms of success. There are various advertisement strategies that have resulted into misleading people to accept the false insinuation that fame and popularity are the same as success. All over the world, there has been the commercialization of the definition of success solely by the marketers so as to achieve pre-set goals. This has resulted to the society believing that if a person is famous and popular, then such a person automatically qualifies to be termed as successful. It is worth noting that most of the popular people are less confident, are less talented, and have less freedom in their life. This is a clear example that fame and popularity differ from success. There are successful people who are not famous at all but who can be termed as successful having chosen to follow their heart desires and not the mainstream culture.
There is a very low possibility for a person who chose to be restricted by the mainstream media and some of the “best selling” magazines to become successful. There is, therefore, a need for the whole society to move out of the definition of success that they have been made to adopt, and adopt the real definition of success. As per the words of Tony Long, “what is a whisper, after all, other than a successful slave to the dictates of the pop culture police?” a ‘hipster’ is defined as an individual who is dying to keep up with the fads of the day. According to Ralph, success involves being happy and joyful, winning the respect of the intelligent people in the society as well as the affection of the young people, to find the best in other people, and to leave the world a better place (Poon, June ML, et al. 22)
Elder, Glen H., and Rand D. Conger. Children of the land: Adversity and success in rural America. University of Chicago Press, 2014. 20
Kennedy, Adam. “The Meaning of Success.” Early Career English Teachers in Action: Learning from Experience, Developing Expertise (2014): 114.
Poon, June ML, et al. “Meaning and determinants of career success: A Malaysian perspective.” Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones 31.1 (2015): 21-29.