Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is Success Really Good?

People are often driven by their goals and their dreams. For example, athletes aim for medals in competitions, and students strive for good marks. The thoughts of being successful are usually the fuel that motivates people to work hard—they allow people to have something to look forward to. In short, the idea of success allows people to live and to work on something happily.

What happens when a person meets their goal and becomes successful? At that moment, the person would probably be in ecstasy, shriek in joy, and be glad that all the hard work finally pays off. However, what next? With the goal achieved, the person would not
have any motivation to keep working hard unless a new goal is set.  And when the next goal is achieved, another would have to be set, and the person would be trapped in a cycle of  setting goals and achieving them. This would eventually stop when the person has maximized their achievement and simply cannot achieve even more, and this would be the time when the person's life gets really dull.

Take the example of Michael Phelps, who has set the record of getting 8 Olympic gold metals in one single year, at the age of 23. I simply do not think that he can do anything greater than this, and this basically means that for the rest of his life he will have no more motivation for success because nothing else would be comparable to this achievement.

Also, when one becomes successful, one might question oneself "that's it?" The taste of success often isn't as good as one imagines. For example, last year I worked very hard to prepare for a competition, and when I actually got first place in this competition, I did not feel that happy at all. To me it was just "over." The truth is that we often imagine being extremely happy and glorious when our goal is achieved, but in reality it will probably just be like an ordinary event that gets forgotten a short time after.

It seems that being successful is not as good as one would think it is. It is the pursuit of success, not the success itself, that is enjoyable. Therefore, I believe that it is actually better if one is always close to being, but never, successful.