By: Dr. Scott Glenn, Associate Professor of Business

In most cases, one may tend to view general success with characteristics like titles, salaries, employment, promotion, advancement, grades, education, membership, power, acquired assets and material things, and financial wealth. All of these may be desirable and a part of Maslow’s pyramid: self-actualization and esteem needs; however, one should keep in mind the magnitude of other aspects of Maslow’s pyramid: such as the need to be loved and belong and the need for safety and physiological well-being. These include creating space for precious times and enjoying what is special to you: such as devoting loving and indispensable time and attention to one’s family and friends and tending to one’s health (mental, physical, and spiritual).

I have found that success is understanding one’s meaning in life, understanding one’s weaknesses and strengths—while also understanding that weakness and failure are not the opposite of achievement, but a part of the journey to success. Quite simply, discovering one’s purpose and gifts, and using them positively to help oneself—be it learning from strengths and/or weaknesses—will help one help others and is also the key to success. Looking after oneself must be done positively in an unselfish manner; otherwise, it will be difficult to help others. Approaching helping others positively is always a win-win. No matter what one’s status is in terms of one’s individual wealth level, be it mental, financial and or spiritual, helping people always has a positive benefit for oneself and others.

A pupil or teacher with ambition usually has goals and a mission to achieve and succeed. Many people consciously create a bucket list for these goals. This is beneficial if done with an unselfish mindset and keeping in mind not only ethical aspects, but also the emotional well-being of others. Many who determinedly adhere to their bucket list may intentionally or unintentionally achieve their list by any means necessary, often with negative outcomes for others. Therefore, BE CAREFUL with bucket lists!

The ideas above of what ambition and success could look like is just a personal generalization and perspective. Ambition and success are in the eye of the beholder! One should note that a pupil and teacher can have a positive success journey by taking care of one’s own cares and wants while treating others with love and care. NOW THAT IS SUCCESS no matter the person or profession!