How far should we really go in order to ‘succeed’?

As humans, we have created some socially-constructed idea of what to ‘succeed’ really means. It’s sad, that we seem to have defined success as having a great-paying job, to have paid off all of your mortgage, make yourself a ‘household’ name, or even to have a certain amount of Twitter followers. Yet, even when we reach that level of ‘success’ nobody ever seems to be truly happy. In my cynical view of the world, it’s clear to see that people find an excuse to be unhappy, or to complain, because what sense of fulfilment are you going to get if you don’t have something that you dislike? As humans we are looking for the next thing to strive towards to make ourselves better in the eyes of society, but is anybody really watching? Or are we all too caught up in ourselves?

It’s hard to tell whether our obsession to be the ‘best’ is an awful or wonderful thing. I mean, on one hand, it gives people direction in life, striving for something. It can be something good that you strive for, such as gaining £1,000 for charity. On the other hand, it can truly be ugly, striving to be ‘popular’ or even striving to gain insane amounts of money. That’s materialistic, and it’s often the case that people turn ugly inside, full of greed, with less friends than they started with. Money is an object, and it’s difficult to define why we are obsessed. Money is success, and the majority of the time we are so shallow not to care how we make it. It’s as if our concious shuts down. To me, it seems as if most people would find £20 on the street and not hesitate to pick it up and claim it as their own. I guarantee that £20 doesn’t seem a lot to the majority of you reading it today. But, what about if the person who dropped it was a woman who had just been kicked out of her home, with three children, by her husband, and that £20 note was all she had to survive on. Again, that woman is viewed as unsuccessful/a failure because her net worth is low. That woman could have a life-changing business idea, or maybe even a medical cure within her head, but the unfortunate reality is that how is she going to get listened to without enough money to give herself a platform to tell people?

I guess what I find most upsetting, is that people have lost their passion. It seems that people all go for the same type of jobs (law, accountancy) because of the money, not because doing those kind of jobs gives them a real buzz. For example, I recently attended a careers event, where the main focus was law and accountancy for school leavers. The selling-points of the positions weren’t that it could be an incredibly interesting industry, but instead that as a school leaver you could earn over £30/£40,000 each year. I literally yawned when I heard this, yet everyone else around me got all excited with a unanimous gasp. I want to go into journalism/media, and quite honestly I can say that it’s because I love writing, and it’s exciting, money is something I purely need to survive, and if I can make a sweeping statement, sometimes I wish money didn’t exist.

Even when people have enough money to suffice, they aren’t all of a sudden happy. Let’s look at rich celebrities; all the money in the world, yet still entering rehab due to issues that were caused by money in the first place. So if money is what it takes to be successful, then I’d rather not be successful at all.


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