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Students, professionals explain definitions of success, how to attain it

Braden Bell

Cheer captains (left to right), Kayden Marquez, ’20, Danielle Foster, ’20, and Morgan Parker, ’21, pose with their awards from the FCC West Coast Grand Championships, Feb. 1.

If someone was asked, “What’s success?” Hundreds of people could have hundreds of varied answers. Diverse definitions of success apply to different individuals.

People consider success in different aspects. For children who love candy, getting candy from parents could be a big success for kids. Getting good grades at school often represents success for students. High salary pay from work is a success for people who value material the most. Grandparents supporting their grandkids can make them feel successful. Generally speaking, it is nothing more than a substantial gain that satisfies your heart.

Anne Sweeney, President of Disney, once said, “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”  

William Shatner, Canadian-American producer, had a similar thought, “Success is different for everyone; everybody defines it in their own way, and that’s part of what we do in ‘Close Up’, finding what it was each person wanted to achieve and what their willingness to sacrifice for that was.”

For most, success is about reaching your own personal goal, no one else should define other’s thoughts on success but yourself. 

Cheerleading captain Morgan Parker, ’21, described success as, “achieving something and being content with the outcome.”

Ryan Brazil, ’20,  had an undefeated league record with the basketball team and captured the CIF Central Section Division 5 Valley championship, Feb. 28. Ryan described success as “whatever you put your mind to, achieve or learn from what you do or did.” 

The following podcast features Kenneth Hu interviewing Ryan Brazil about success.

Different dreams and goals all come with joy and satisfaction which makes us feel alive and successful. Generally, most teenagers spend most of their time at school; most teens define success related to school events or sports.

It doesn’t matter what area teenagers want to be successful in, they always need one thing: knowledge for the area. People fail to achieve their goals because they don’t understand their goals well enough. 

For example, the shoe market is popular right now. Groups of people want to make money out of it, so they buy the shoes which they think will rise in value, but the results are most likely not what they want.

For another example, when the World Cup comes, lots of people are involved in gambling. They make their assumptions and bet on a score that was probably calculated by a company with lots of data, so it’s not a surprise they will lose money in the bet. 

But in fact, all this can be avoided by improving one’s own knowledge. 

As a basketball fan, I heard lots of basketball history which helped me understand the sneaker culture. Air Jordan shoes are expensive due to the history and stories behind the shoes instead of the shoes themselves. So when buying new sneakers that come out, which are not limited edition or collaboration with the name brand, the price is usually stable at a certain point.

Bella Johns | The Feather Online

Fresno Christian Varsity basketball team won the CIF Central Section Division 5 Vally championship.

I also love soccer, and it’s probably the most unpredictable sport. A team’s line-up could have restrictions or checking relations, players could be effected by things on and off the court or the soccer government could take the money and fake a loss. If we don’t understand the area we are going to engage in, results won’t look good.


Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, told her story in a TED talk about struggling after her mobile phone-unlocking business went flying. She felt miserable, isolated and lost. The more she asked herself what’s the purpose of her life, the more her negative thoughts in her mind took over. 

“People are missing out on incredible opportunities all of the time because of what’s going on in their head because they are making bad decisions based off of a really bad frame of mind,” Green says. 

She went on a trip to relax and ease her mind, found the passion in her heart and started to focus on who she wanted to become. That’s when she came up with the idea to create The Female Entrepreneur.

“Success is no accident; living an incredible life is no accident,” Green said. “You have to do it on purpose, and it starts by knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve.”   

How can we give ourselves the best chance to make our own success happen?

  1. Learn and dig into the area you want to engage in. With the internet, we can basically find everything we need online after we find what we want to do and the direction we are going for. Researching and asking professionals of the area with a learning mindset could help big time.
  2. Our mind is really powerful, we need to fill it with the right mindset which is doing the things you want to instead of letting the doubts in your mind beat you. Staying persistent helps you to get to your goal.
  3. Have a passion for what you do, choose to do the things that give you the most joy. In that case, anything you do becomes fun. It’s easier for you to focus on the goal all the time and it will increase the probability of being successful.
  4. Grind every day and prepare yourself for success. Everyone will be given a chance at some point, it’s a matter of are you ready to turn ideas into reality.

Most teenagers were taught to be successful at a young age without even knowing what it means. We should ask ourselves what we really want deep down in our heart, what kind of person we want to be remembered as and work from there. Enjoy the process of chasing success instead of looking only at the results.

For more articles, read Emergency preparedness spreads school wide or EDITORIAL: Stereotyping negatively impacts communities, personal growth.

Kenneth Hu can be reached via email.

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