The Meaning And Definition Of Success

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In this modern world words tend to have more than one meaning. Because of the polarization in the world right now the meaning from the words seem to be used or changed depending on what they want. There are many different meanings to words many different words in the modern vocabulary for example fame, obscenity, diversity, or success, all these different examples are defined different by each social group this because of the polarization in the world it also depends on the person on how he was raised, what his beliefs are, and what his values are. I have decided to try and define the word success, as I said before there are many factors that influence on the modern meaning of this word and that is why there is different definitions of this word in the dictionary, I will compare and explain each of these definitions that the oxford dictionary gives, and I’ll explain to you what real success means to me.

First to understand the definitions given by the Oxford dictionary we need to know the origin of the word success. The word success was originated in the mid sixteenth century derived from the Latin word successus which by that time it also had different meanings, some of these meanings were: “an advance, a coming up, a good result, happy outcome.” It is derived from the sub “next to, after¨ plus cedere “go, move” from the pie root “to go, yield¨ that means accomplishment of desired end. The word is attested in the French vocabulary starting around 1902 in phrases such as: “succès d’estime a cordial reception given to a literary work out of respect rather than admiration, and succès de scandale – success (especially work of art) dependent upon its scandalous character.” (online etymology dictionary)

The word success according to the definition of the Oxford dictionary has many different meanings, and for the paper I chose three different definitions, the first definition is the following ¨The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status. ¨ This first description that I chose to describe refers to success as something that can be achieved by getting money, or fame, the pure meaning of these definition is that you are successful if you become a celebrity where everyone in the world knows you and acknowledges you, it also refers at how many money you have for example a rich family is successful because of how much money and power they have and this leads to the third the social status implying that if you are poor you are somebody unsuccessful.

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The second definition that this word has is ¨The accomplishment of an aim or purpose¨ this is a more abstract type of success; it refers to whether you have accomplished everything that you have proposed for yourself in your life. This type of definition I feel like it is more realistic because it doesn’t exclude people from any race or social status. To explain this meaning it is easier to use examples, let’s say that the goal of the Clemson football team is to finish the year unbeaten, that is their main goal of the season and this will determine whether they are successful or not, in their last game of the season, in the other side Alabama`s goal is to win the national championship, in the final of these tournament Alabama is playing against Clemson in the final they are one step closer to have a successful year. Whoever wins is the one who at the end was successful, this is what the second definition of success refers to.

The third definition that I chose to explain the word success was: “The good or bad outcome of an undertaking.” This refers to what people like Bill Gates have achieved with their undertakings, this is a definition more for business people, and these excludes a lot of people like workers or people who have no work, this is a definition that thinks of successful people as rich business people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs the type of people who have created a business that are recognized around the whole world.

After explaining each of the definitions that I think that in the modern society it has many different connotations for example we link being successful with having money, or being famous, as referred in the first definition, in this modern society the most accurate meaning the people give is the same as the first definition I explained, being rich wealthy or famous, and I think that this is completely wrong. For me the word success is deeper than that it is not a material type of stuff, because people who have a lot of money can feel unsuccessful, because the money is not them the money is from their ancestors who work so hard to become successful.

In my opinion the word successful it has to do on how you feel about yourself and has to do more with the second definition on accomplishing what you propose, you can’t define a person as successful just by saying the amount of money or money he has, for me a successful person is a person who has accomplished most of the things he has proposed to himself, a person who no matter what kept trying even after he failed, it has nothing to do with how much money you have or how much power is more about how do you feel about yourself and what you have accomplished with the opportunities you had.                

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