When people think of success, they often think of having a career that’s enough to sustain you for the rest of your life. That definition is not anywhere close to how I view success. Success to me is overcoming a great challenge, one that originally had you stagger backward and think “there is no way I can do that.

” Then you go out to prove yourself wrong. Once I have completed such a challenge, I look down at my hands, feel my pulse coursing through them, breathe deeply as if I held my breath throughout all my struggles, and think about the task I have just accomplished. A reward like wealth or a good grade isn’t what makes success such a thrilling and somewhat nostalgic experience, but the difficulty of the task at hand and the struggle of attempting it. One will encounter many of these moments throughout their lifetime, so I think success shouldn’t be defined as only their biggest achievement, for we all know Mount Everest is far from the only mountain one will find on Earth. I experience this feeling of success to varying degrees on a daily basis. I almost always have a test to study for, homework to do, and a project to work on. All of these school assignments frighten me, and at first, I think I can’t keep up with all this work.

Then I just grit my teeth and get to it. At the end of the week, month, quarter, and semester I look at my grade, the numbers that reflect all my efforts and skills, with a smile of satisfaction. Why, then, do I worry so much about every assignment as if it will be the one to end me? I’m not sure I have an answer to that question, but that feeling of success is always there to follow. Extreme difficulty isn’t enough to create this feeling; effort is required to achieve it as well. The feeling of success is backed by the knowledge that, even though you aren’t certain of the outcome of your efforts, you gave it your absolute best. This exhilarating feeling is why I love video games so much. In video games, great challenges are visualized right in front of me: a cloud-piercing mountain to climb, an ancient figure of all-powerful evil to defeat, a world to save.

I look for the kind of games with challenges that at first don’t seem humanly possible and I endeavor and improve until I prevail. That feeling of knowing I have accomplished a feat that few others have better than most anything else. We all spend our lives chasing after such a success; video games merely simulate challenge and success, but do so as well as life itself. This chase after success is what defines lives, for success is an incentive for all to live.

We all go through several intimidating challenges that make us doubt ourselves. The feeling of having completed such challenges is what we all live for as human beings. Success would be meaningless without travail and failure. Looking back at the effort we put into a challenge we accomplished is what defines the feeling of success. Life itself can be defined by this roller coaster of challenge and toil to success and joy. What’s next, then, after conquering a great challenge, reaching the peak of a great mountain whose shadow reaches as far as the horizon? Simple, start at the bottom again and find another mountain to climb.


I'm Erica!

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