INTERVIEW ANALYSIS: WHAT IS SUCCESS?

Students (in Mr. Payne's English 1111) worked on interviewing older generations regarding views on success. Having completed a rigorous analysis, they were then tasked with condensing their extended 3 to 5 page paper to one page and have it recorded to broadcast. Here are the finalists:


Everyone wants to succeed, whether it’s in school, your job, or just life in general. Succeeding isn’t always about becoming a millionaire or getting an A on a test. Success is only defined by an individual and what they believe is succeeding for them-self. This also means that succeeding is not all the time considered “good”, because often times people will accomplish their goal, however it’s not always beneficial to other people or to the world.

While success may have a definition in a dictionary, it doesn’t really have an exact definition in life because every person has a different interpretation of success. Someone considered to be in the upper class may see having the biggest house to be successful while another homeless person may see going through one night without being murdered as being successful. Although most people have family to help them out in life, its ultimately up to an individual person to accomplish their goals. Loved ones aren’t going to be with someone throughout every decision they make in their life, so we have to learn how to be successful on our own. “Success in your life is up to you, measured by the effort in what you do” (Creamer, Iola. 4 September 2016.)

Trying to understand success is very difficult, but trying to achieve it is another thing. We can only achieve success by one simple thing, work. If work isn’t put in when you’re trying to achieve a goal then you're never going to accomplish it. Ruth Burr was born in 1919 and has lived through many things, including the Great Depression. From this experience alone she states, “If you don’t work hard nothing will get accomplished and you won’t achieve success.” (Creamer, Iola. 4 September 2016). From the time she was just a child to now she has learned many things, including hard work. She has truly lived out the definition of both hard work and success. She still continues to strive for her best even today at 97 years old.

We can only achieve success by one simple thing, work. If work isn’t put in when you’re trying to achieve a goal then you’re never going to accomplish it.

Very rarely do we come across a person who considers them-self to perfectly successful. There’s always something in your life you wish you could go back and do differently, but this rule does not apply to Ruth. She feels as if she has lived her life to the best of her ability. One bible verse that has helped her achieve her goal is Proverbs 12 verse 24: “Work hard and be a leader, lazy and become a slave”. This is a very short meaningful verse that has helped Ruth throughout her life, and with it she accomplish her goal of success.

Ruth’s best advice on success is that you need determination and faith to achieve success. You stand alone, every person determines their own goal and what they achieve in life.”You can’t just sit around and wait for things to come to you. If you feel the need to accomplish something then you must have the strive and willpower to do it.”

Success is extremely infantile. In order to explain this I interviewed Jane Doe, a principal at Springfield High School. She stated that by doing what you want when you want to is one of the key ways in being and becoming successful.

“Don’t worry about the other people. They may be a part of your life, but they aren’t living your life. Live for you, take chances for you, because if you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the same spot forever, thinking about what you could’ve done.

Jane Doe was the youngest of seven children. She grew up in a time where making ends meet were tough. As she got older she realized that she was not expected to do much, and that no one would notice if she was successful or not. Jane Doe said that she had always been praised by her parents for being a varsity athlete, but was never encouraged to try or do better at anything else until her third grade teacher saw her potential and continued to push her academically. The teacher sends her handwritten notes every year; they gave her courage to go to college. Jane’s parents never wanted her to go to college, but doing what was best for herself, she went to Wright State University without telling anyone. Things would have stayed that way too, but her name was in the paper for honor roll, and she hit a deer and needed her car fixed. Jane Doe was then a gym teacher at North High School in Springfield, Ohio. After years of teaching physical education, she was offered the principal job at North. I asked her if she had ever aspired to be a principal while working in the building. She responded with “No, I never wanted to be a principal, it was never something I strived to do.” I asked Jane if she would do anything differently. She responded with a clear no, and one final thought. “Don’t worry about the other people. They may be a part of your life, but they aren’t living your life. Live for you, take chances for you, because if you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the same spot forever, thinking about what you could’ve done.”

 This past month I interviewed my mom in depth about what she believes success is. In modern American culture, there are many obvious ways by which we measure success… these almost always include money, power, and some level of material possession. Contrary to this norm, my mom was adamant that the definition of success was one thing: happiness.  

There is a saying: “If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I believe that this saying goes very well with the notion of success. It is hard to feel successful if no one cares or even knows about the things you do that you consider successful. So, is it even possible to feel successful when you’re the only one who cares? To my mom, she would say yes, it is possible; success is based off of happiness, health, and family. She believes that if her family is happy and healthy, then she feels successful. She says “There’s a lot of layers to success, there’s personal, there’s family success, there’s career success. So I would say the meaning of success would be if you are content with your life at that point and time.”

Happiness is unable to be measured by anyone other than the one experiencing it, so if nobody else can see your “success” or “happiness”, what is the point of being successful at all? The truth is you can’t have one without the other. In my opinion, believing that success is solely “being content with what you have” is crazy. In life, there will always be competitions, athletics, schools, pageants, awards, etc. If you never win, how can you be happy with failing every time? Constantly saying “I tried” is not enough. You can not be happy if you are failing. One may say that they don’t care what others think about them, but I do not believe that.

We are the tree that falls in the forest and the sound is success -and if no one notices then it doesn’t even matter. So happiness and success is truly being recognized by others. It is not found within us, but in other people.

People always say, “money can’t buy happiness.” The grass is greener on the other side. Happy people who have nothing wish they had the material possessions that others have, while those with the material possessions may admit that there is still something missing in their lives.

No matter if you have material things or you don’t you still may not feel one hundred percent successful. We are the tree that falls in the forest and the sound is success -and if no one notices then it doesn’t even matter. So happiness and success is truly being recognized by others. It is not found within us, but in other people.

Hello, I am Austin Rude and I will be reading a reduced form of my Interview analysis over success.

Success is a word with many definitions and depending on who you ask, each time you will get a different perspective and explanation of what the word means to them. The sheer amount of definitions of success is limitless. Every single person you ask will have their own unique perspective on success.

Attempting your goal once and failing and then giving up is being lazy, never expect to finish your goals the first time, if you do then it’s too easy.

My interviewee’s perspective of success was to set realistic goals for yourself that you must work at and eventually achieve. Not only should you achieve your goals but you should grow from the experiences you gain while progressing to achieve them. During the interview I had with my interviewee they stated “Attempting your goal once and failing and then giving up is being lazy, never expect to finish your goals the first time, if you do then it’s too easy,” (Personal Interview, 2016 September 18). If the goals you set were realistic then it should take you multiple tries to complete, no realistic goal is out of your grasp. Every goal you achieve should take effort and perseverance. Of course, some goals are not realistic and may be out of your capable potential, once you come to the realization that a goal is too hard and unrealistic then just switch, find a new more realistic goal that interests you. Setting realistic goals and realizing that some of your goals are out of your grasp takes wisdom, the more you grow the more wisdom you will gain to determine and set new goals.

Success comes in many shapes and forms, every vision of success is different and unique. Everyone has their own perspective of what success is and how they achieve that success. Even if you fail the first time, that’s okay. Success is about growing while you achieve your goals. Practice makes perfect, the more you strive for your goals the more you will grow and the more knowledge and wisdom you will gain to help you achieve your goals.

All your life, you have spent your time devoted to being ‘successful.” But what is success, and whose standards is it measured by? In the following interview, my interviewee was asked questions that dealt with success.

Take the education that’s given to you and learn from it and continue to learn from it for the rest of your life.

According to Jane Doe, success is measured in many things. Success is a balance between work and family. While you wish to be successful at your job, you must be willing to sacrifice your time for family. This means you must put your family members before yourself, and be present when with them.

Success also means achieving goals. To achieve goals, you first must set goals. Your goals could range from anything. It can be getting out of bed in the morning, running a marathon, being president, or doing something for your job. Jane believes your goals should help others along the way. Your goals should not only serve you, but serve others as well.

Your education ties into success. While being successful in Jane’s eyes doesn’t necessarily mean going to college, she also believes you should have as much education as possible for yourself. “Take the education that’s given to you and learn from it and continue to learn from it for the rest of your life.”

Jane wishes happiness on everyone. She believes anyone who sets goals and works for them can be successful. Jane states that even if you fail at your goal, you still learn from it. In our interview, she says to never give up and keep trying at your goal. What you put in is what you’re going to get out. You’re either going to be positive or negative, and that’s for you to decide. Jane believes you have to work to get that balance of family/work/happiness to be successful. She believes it takes setting goals, working for them, and helping others achieve their goals to be successful. 

Success is a construct developed by the figment of our imagination to invent the feeling of happiness. Who is to say if success is even real since it might come from our imagination?

Everybody’s feeling of happiness comes from different things. After doing my interview, the interviewee showed me that success is something we heavily rely on to make us happy. Though, what does the definition of success rely on? It would have to rely on our imagination.

Our view of success is set up to help us achieve to the best of our ability. Failing is not a great feeling and is the complete opposite of happiness. This doesn’t mean we won’t fail because everyone makes mistakes. “The interviewee said that if you don’t learn from your failure, that you won’t be able to accomplish much.” Failure is a part of how we excel towards achieving our goals.

Having success and being happy is a part of our everyday life. Even though it is a part of our life, we still have trouble describing and defining what success is. For some people it’s not about winning, it’s about how hard they tried to get there.

Throughout the interview, the interviewee said four different categories repeatedly that deal with being successful for him. Those categories are money (how we used it), everyone has a different opinion, awful things can be successful but not necessarily right, and health is a huge success over everything. This shows me he really doesn’t know what success is.

We say we are successful without truly looking deeper into the meaning of success and trying to understand what we are actually saying. How can we say we are successful when deep down we really don’t know what success is?

Our imagination controls what we do and what we want to do. Therefore, it controls our success.

Our imagination controls what we do and what we want to do. Therefore, it controls our success. It helps us create goals that we know we can achieve and will make us happy in the end. Since there are so many different definitions, we can’t prove that success really exists. There is no proof where our definitions of success are derived. If they did come from our imagination, we can’t prove that our imagination exists. Our imaginations come from something we can’t physically prove.

In conclusion, is our imagination restricting us from doing what we believe is impossible? Lastly, will we be able to prove success is something real or will it just be something that is a just idea created by our imagination?

Would you be happy if you hurt someone to succeed? Would it be worth it to hurt someone to succeed? Interviewee, Jane, said, “If you try to break the rules or try to cheat or hurt others in order to get it, it lessens it.” Everyone can achieve success if they create a plan, follow through with the plan, get past all the obstacles and if they put their heart into it. You may not get it the first try but you will get it if you keep trying.

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure” (Hill, N/A). One of biggest things that holds people back from succeeding is fear of failure. When people fail the first time, they won’t try again for fear of failing again. It is okay to fail, we learn from failure all the time. If no one failed, we would never learn anything new. “Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because they felt he lacked imagination and had no good Ideas.” (Sugar, N/A) Walt Disney became one of the most successful person in the world and he failed at times. People have made big discoveries when they failed. You don’t need to cheat, lie or hurt someone in order to succeed the first time. It is pointless.

Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure

No one can control what a person should succeed in and what that person should do. If the person is not happy with themselves, why make them suffer? People see successes differently. Someone may see this as a success but someone else could see it as a failure. For example, someone got last place in a race but their time was better. Someone could think “I did awful because I got last place”. Someone else could think “I did great because I beat my time.” Everyone is given the power to succeed because everyone has a different opinion about any given situation. So is there a point for people to make other people feel horrible to do something they get satisfaction from?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, success is the fact of getting wealth, respect, or fame, or the correct or desired result of an attempt. However, for many, success depends on one’s professional and personal stability, and also contribution to others. Let us start with professional success, for without it, it can be difficult to have personal success, and thus make general success hard to achieve.

To achieve success, sometimes you have to fail. Learning from your mistakes is one of the best ways to reach the top.

Professional success, as described by my interviewee, whose name shall be changed to Clara, is stability in a job that you are good at and enjoy. A job’s ability to support you also plays a factor; a minimum-wage job that you love is almost as bad as a high-paying job that you hate. It’s finding a mid-range between financial stability and happiness that creates that stability.

Personal success can be achieved in multiple fashions. For some, personal success is becoming wealthy and powerful. For some, it is giving to others. As Clara said, success is being in a position that you are good at and enjoy. However, you have to be good at being good. “You can’t be a successful killer and be successful.” If you excel at killing and it makes you happy, good for you; however, it doesn’t help society at all.

To achieve success, sometimes you have to fail. Learning from your mistakes is one of the best ways to reach the top. Either that, or don’t make any mistakes, but as Einstein once said, “if you’ve never made a mistake, you’ve never tried something new.” Fall sometimes. Get back up and use what you learned to do better the next time.

Success is a delicate subject, but it can be fairly well summarized as thus for me and my interviewee: A stable financial and personal state in which one is happy. Your level of happiness and your standing in society set you apart from the rest. How you, as a person, are satisfied is reflected in your attitude. This is success.