What do we mean by Success? – Blog 8: The Dictionary Definition of Success?

Success has a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people, some of which we have already explored in this series. Today’s blog is going to take a look at the dictionary definition of what success is and if that is a fair definition to base our own success off of. That is what today’s blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” blog is going to be about!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the eighth blog in the “What do we mean by Success?” series! Today’s blog is going to take a look at the dictionary definition for what success means and then exploring if we can justify using it to see if we are successful in ourselves. I have talked a lot about the different definitions that success has but have not, as of yet, actually provided the dictionary definition, that will all be changed after this blog!

The Cambridge Dictionary have two different definitions of what success is. The first definition is “the achieving of the results wanted or hoped for”. This definition can be used in phrases such as, the success rate of this is and so far I have had no success in convincing him otherwise.

The other definition they provide is “something that achieves positive results”. This meaning can be used in phrases such as I am going to make a success of myself or that project was a massive success! Both of these definitions seem directed at success stemming from only positive sources and the question that I ask is, is that always the case?

In my opinion, success is a word that’s true meaning is greater than just one or two definitions. As I say in a lot of the blogs in this series, success means different things to different people, so in saying that, is it fair to just use one definition? Some people will argue that without a finite definition then it is very hard to compare successfulness from one person to the next but is it fair to compare peoples success anyway?

If you do think it is fair to compare if someone is more or less successful than somebody else, I am not judging you whatsoever, the only question I have is how do you compare two peoples success? Is seems like a truly difficult dilemma to me which I wouldn’t be sure what to do in the circumstances. The way that I see it is depending on what you are measuring, you will get different results every time.

Both of the definitions provided by the Cambridge Dictionary do differ from each other but do centralise around common themes, success is most commonly a positive thing that stems from positive results or actions and that it is something that we wanted or hoped to achieve in some way. While this may be true for a number of different circumstances, can we say it is a fair measure of our own success?

Let’s go back to blog 3 in this series, all about the Qualifications we have, as an example for this. Let’s say for instance that I am measuring my success off of positive effects that I wanted or hoped would happen. So for my A Levels I really wanted and hoped to do well in order to get to University, I put hours upon hours of work in to it and tried really hard in my exams.

Alas when I had my results from College I found that I did not do as well as I hoped and that I would not be able to go to University that year, at least to do the course that I wanted to do. Does this make me less successful than if I was to go to University straight after college? Given that I had learned a whole new level of things whilst being colleges but at the end of the day did not get the results that I was hoping for, does this make me unsuccessful?

This sort of question really tests how you see the world. I purposefully ask these questions to make you step back for a minute and think. I do not think that I was unsuccessful not going to University straight after College as I got the chance to complete the Level 3 AAT course as well as a HNC in Computing and Information Systems. Yes the route that I took to get to University was different than what I first planned but does that make it any less successful at the end of the day?

I’m going to start to wrap things up for today’s blog. I originally planned on the blog being longer for today but found that there were so many themes that I would be touching on which would be better explored in the next few blogs in the series. I am really enjoying writing this series, it is quite different compared to my usual work on the page, I hope you are enjoying the series too!

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading and I hoped you have enjoyed and learned something new! What do you think of today’s blog? Are you enjoying the “What do we mean by Success?” series? Are there any parts of this series that you would like to see me cover next? Are there any other topics that you would like me to cover in general? Let me know either in the comments below or through our Facebook page.

Just a quick content change for this week too. The “Ideas for Lockdown” blog that was planned for Wednesday has sadly had to be canceled this week. I have two exams this week, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday for University and I simply do not have the time to write another blog as well as revise and sit the exam regretfully. Exam season will be running till the end of the month but I do not think it will affect the blog schedule again, if this changes I will let you know!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James Sweeney

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