Article Op-Ed

Changing My Definition of Success & Self-Growth

Changing My Definition of Success & Self-Growth


Author Pluto by

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Almost every year, I try to start off with long-term goals and decide that if I accomplish them- and it must be these very goals- then the year as a whole has been a success.

Of course, I anticipate that throughout the course of an entire year, I will change as a person, whether it be a result of the new people I meet or new situations I’d face. Regardless, I expect that these goals I set will remain ones I will be motivated to work towards throughout the year.

My logic unfolds as follows:
- I set objectives I would like to have accomplished by December 31st of that year.
- As someone who has achieved these goals set for myself at the start of the year, regardless of whether I have changed, I am now a more accomplished version of myself.
- Therefore, I have grown as a person solely through the aims I set and was able to accomplish.

However, I’ve recently come to realize that though this year has come to a close, and I cannot say I’ve checked off more than 4 off of my rather long list of goals, I feel that I have grown more through the various events that have taken place over the course of the year, rather than through the outlines targets I listed in my journal at the end of December of 2017.

I’ve found that this “more accomplished version of myself” was able to become actualized through the steps I’ve taken to pursue what I’m interested in, through not separating my school and social life into the categories of ‘fun’ and ‘work’ but finding what I enjoy in both, and therefore being able to better balance and appreciate them on a more equivalent level.

Furthermore, in the past few days I’ve heard remarks similar to my own regarding the regrets of not meeting targets set in the beginning of the year, though shortly after, followed by how they felt mostly positive about the year as a whole, mentioning how they may have learned about themselves, or successfully faced a significant change. And that is why, going forward, being successful at the end of the year, for me, means meeting the goals that I could, and acknowledging the growth that came as a result of the year’s events as a whole.

That is not to undermine the value of long-term goals, it is simply to acknowledge that the goals I expect I will be motivated to work towards all throughout the year simply may not apply to the person I come to be in October, or the place I am in in November, and not meeting these aims does not take away from or define the success of the year as a whole.

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