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The Evolution of Success


Success is not final
Failure is not fatal
It is the courage to continue that counts
-Winston Churchill

As a child I dreamed the American dream… to grow up, be married, wanted a dog, a house, and a fantastic corporate job. Disney movies aided in this optimistic view of the future. As a teenager, I searched for my “independence” and aimed for getting into a good college. As an adult the view of success is ever changing.

Many opinions on what makes one successful is out there. Ways to gain it keep it, measure it, etc. It is not something that can be measured universally. They all vary on the person attempting to achieve them. It makes me think of the moments of speaking with children and teenagers in my recruiting days of what they valued and felt would make them successful. The two main events that come to mind were while giving a Texas Scholar speech and recruiting for undergraduate admissions at a Junior College.

The Texas Scholar speech was generally to share about the program but also to get the middle school aged children to share about their hopes, dreams, and future. Initially I looked forward to hearing the goals the kids set only to hear majority of them discuss wanting to only be a basketball wife, date a rapper, the boys focused on having a fine wife and what material items they would want to acquire. The 3-5 out of 25 students expressed wanting to further their education and discussed professions they desired to get into. Although I am a large advocate for education, I understand and respect that it is not for everyone. But it sickened my heart to hear them so passionate to waste their talent and lives behind material things and not consider their own inner growth, excitement over graduating, or their future. Many people are successful that do not have an educational background, but I do believe that it doesn’t hurt to have your high school diploma and explore some other educational opportunities that could be from culinary arts, mechanical, military training, etc.

The young lady I met at the junior college during a recruiting event spent some time telling me a little about herself and then on to what she was hoping to accomplish. She had been in college approximately two years and was aiming to becoming a secretary. She said she was the first one in her family to obtain any college credit and she knows she did not need it to become a secretary but wanted to have that foundation. As she left from speaking with us, my coworker and I, we discussed how everyone’s life fulfilling desires differ in many ways.To the child sitting at home wondering where the next meal will come from or if the lights will be off tomorrow, success may be living at a means where he/she is not living check to check. People's idea may not always meet our expectations but they maybe large to that individual’s family, personal goals, and motivated by their upbringing. So I say to anyone that attempts to down someone else’s idea of success because it does not meet their own expectation, remember that all the jobs in the world were created because they were needed and be thankful that someone wants to do the jobs you do not enjoy or care to do.

As a first generation college kid, I came out with a piece of paper, great accolades for graduating, but that does not mean others success is wrong or should be looked down upon. It was a large goal of mine to get a college degree. For so many graduating high school, having a family, being a certain type of parent, being involved in the community is what equals success. Is one wrong or any less important, of course not. However, we tend to know people that won’t support others in achieving their goals that they may not understand or relate to.

My own success story has changed overtime from the time I became an aunt, joined the corporate world, and deciding to start my own blog. My success no longer only comes from climbing the corporate ladder, but to IMPACT1 (this was not a typo) person at a time. I wanted to share my voice after stepping out on faith and hoping to inspire and assist.

Ask yourself what can you do to help yourself or someone else. In watching one of my favorite movies, Eat, Love, Pray, Julia Roberts portrays a woman that is seeking so many things all to find in the end that self-awareness and seeking her own success versus what the world put out there is what leads to her true happiness.
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Kandace J.

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