Definition of Success

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Kristen Campbell
ENGL 1302
Kimberly Dill
3/7/2012
Standards of Success

Success, as described by Winston Churchill, is “…going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” This has taken on greater meaning in our modern day, as the path to success has seemingly become more complex. Is the American dream still valid? I would say yes, considering that we are currently in a recession. The term “American Dream” is used in a number of ways, but really the American Dream is an idea that suggests that all people can succeed through hard work, and that all people have the potential to live happy, successful lives. Many people have expanded or refined the definition of the American Dream. This concept has also been subject to a fair amount of criticism. Many people believe that in order to reach the idealistic goal of the American Dream, they would have to reach particular standards of success. In my opinion, there are three standards of success: academic success, societal success, and financial success.

Academic success is important because it is strongly related to the positive outcomes we all value. Not surprisingly, research shows that adults with high levels of education are more likely to be employed, and to earn higher salaries (National Center for Education Statistics, 2001; U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1999). The number of jobs requiring a college education is expected to grow more than twice as fast as those not requiring a college education over the next ten to twenty years (Fleetwood & Shelley, 2000; Rentner & Kober, 2001). Academically successful students will have more employment opportunities than those with less education. Therefore, academic success may mean the difference between working at a job only “because it pays the rent” and working at a job that you actually enjoy.

Societal success is something that is reached by desiring to reach your own goals and dreams that support the goals that society...
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