Essay on My Definition of Success

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In his poem, “What is Success,” Ralph Waldo Emerson gave priceless insight when he wrote:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Emerson’s quote provides a paradigm of success—a model to be admired and strived for. Emerson teaches that learning to appreciate the subtleties in life can make it that much more enjoyable and interesting. In
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It's not surprising, then, that I want an exceptional career. And I'm not special in that regard. Most students share my goal.

After several semesters being surrounded by smart, ambitious Business School students, I've noticed that there are striking differences in the ways people define an exceptional career. And the way people define success can have a big impact, not only on decisions about their first jobs, but also how much they achieve and happy they are in their careers.

As it is commonly used, the word "success" is sometimes synonymous with another word — "winning." Success is beating the other guy and getting the big salary. Success is what happens when other people think you're a success or when you can convince them of it.

As a junior, I attended a recruiting event for the Boston Consulting Group. Hardly ten words were out of the BCG representative's mouth before he was compelled to announce that he was a partner at the firm and that he'd gotten his MBA at Harvard. He then delivered a presentation that was fixated on his firm's corporate mantra: "We're Winning." Some of my sharpest classmates ate it up. High achievers who knew little about BCG Consulting before they entered the B-School competed intensely to land one of the select openings there.

They aren't alone. I know of many students who are competing for or

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