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Winning Essay

Heather Hughes
Bellevue Community College
Bellevue, WA
(Instructor: Professor Ruthmary Braden)

How do you define success?

A woman comes home after a long day of classes. She gazes in the mirror at her reflection as she readies herself for work and thinks, "What am I doing? I just spent the whole day at school, my babies were in daycare since early this morning, and now I bring them home and have just enough time to feed them before the sitter arrives to put them to bed.' She feels worn out, sad. Then she starts to smile. A memory of the A she received on her test last week comes to mind and she is flooded with the thought that in only a few short months, she will have her Degree and Teacher's Certificate. She will then be able to apply for the opening coming available at the school where her children will be attending.

Across town, a young man just out of community college celebrates as his dot com business reaches the seven million dollar profit mark. He looks in the mirror just before the pictures are snapped and sees a man about to become well known in the newspaper the next morning. Almost starting to feel overwhelmed by all the chaos around him, he then smiles and remembers how he took an idea that came to him one night after he was woken up at the library table because the coffee he was holding tipped over. Instead of getting right back to studying, he wrote out a generic marketing plan. Over the next year he was able to get it off the ground, and within one year after that, it had become a sensation. He was now looking into more profitable ideas, and soon, financial independence.

Both of these example people gleam with success. Neither one of them would probably have very much in common with the other, except for the fact that they are doing what is in their heart. They are working as hard as they can to achieve the success that is important to them.

Success is not about taking what other people think you should do and doing it. It is not about following along in your click's footsteps just to be part of the crowd. Nor is it going along life blindly expecting it to come to you.

Success is taking what is strong inside of you, inside of what you are made of, and realizing what you want is ok. It is attainable. With hard work, dedication, perseverance, and a willing self to follow your dreams, it is all possible. Success is taking what sometimes others don't think is 'the way' to go and making it 'your own way'. By mapping out what you want to achieve, you can reach the happiness and satisfaction of your goals. That happiness and satisfaction is what success is.

To realize that the skyscraping goals you have don't have to stay soaring above the clouds without you sitting at the top, but that each day you can climb another level and make it. With the memory of the moments of each achieved goal, you are able to almost relieve those feelings, which give such a huge boost in pushing yourself farther. A successful person is the little child who once stood on the ground watching the airplanes fly above, and is now the pilot flying on the wings of those birds.

Inspiration and ideas are found from areas all around us, and being able to take pieces of those words and pictures to create our own unique designs, allows us to make our lives truly exciting. To learn to overcome the self-defeating thoughts and concentrate on the encouraging ways, is truly remarkable. By surrounding ourselves with supportive and encouraging people we are still able to talk openly about our goals, but be comfortable enough to talk about them honestly and ambitiously. To learn the processes of researching ideas and how to put them to use is challenging and valuable.

Success is about comparing ourselves with no one else. It is reaching out for new achievements one after the other because of the rewards we see after each completed one. It is to be happy. It is to make marks in our world by getting that daily to-do list done or by running for congress with the intention to make a difference in the hunger problem in your state.

Success is being able to look in the mirror at your own reflection and say, "Yes, I did it."