The Definition of Success

Most people learn the secret to life when they’re old and gray, so it is useless to them. Fortunately for me, I learned it while I’m still young. I didn’t have to be staring death in the face to realize it, either. I realized it this year when I made a seemingly simple decision.

Here’s the secret:

Life’s too short.

I’m serious. It’s three simple words, but that’s all there is to it.

Until recently this year, I was in an advanced math class. If I had continued on that track, I would be taking crazy college level stuff in 12th grade and be working my butt off. I wouldn’t have had time to think, to eat, to sleep, to breathe-

Was I capable of it?


Here’s the thing: I had an A in my advanced class this year, and I had straight A’s last year. My teachers were super confused- why in the heck would I switch down? Only people who couldn’t handle the class did that. I could have continued on this track and done crazy math stuff junior and senior year. I could have majored in math in college. I could have become some freakishly smart math professor and maybe even made mathematical discoveries or had theorems named after me.

But I would not have been successful.

Success: The satisfaction you get from doing something you love.

If you think about it, we- that is, each and every person in the human race is capable of doing anything.

But life is too short to do it all. That’s just the way it is. That’s why you have to decide between your passion and your ability.

I have the ability to do higher level math. But I chose not  to, even though I’m dying of boredom in my math class this year. Because my passion lies in writing. And I’d rather spend time writing my book than working really hard at something that doesn’t interest me.

My mom actually had a great analogy for this. She told me that I was driving down the road, and I came to a fork. I kept driving, but before long I realized I was on the wrong path. So all I had to do was backtrack a little (move into the lower math class) until I got to the fork, and then continue on the right path. Better to do that then keep going on the wrong road.

A couple years ago, I saw a poster that said, “No matter how far you go down the wrong road, you can always turn back.”

Well, that’s true, but the faster you turn around, the less distance you have to cover. And the less time is wasted.

Life is too short not to follow your dreams, aim high and have big goals in mind.

Do what you can with what you have, and don’t waste time doing something you don’t enjoy. You were given talent for a reason, and you were given passion for a reason.

Now go out there and make it happen.

2 thoughts on “The Definition of Success

  1. I just wanted to comment and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more in the future

Comments are closed.