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ParentingPanicButton » parenting advice, parenting help » The Difference Between Success and Achievement Part 2

The Difference Between Success and Achievement Part 2

Now, back to “achievement” and “success” and why it is so important to distinguish the two.

Success is about learning something, managing a difficult task, accepting feedback and constructively using it.  Success involves doing what you do well and are passionate about in a way that benefits your class, community, or world. Success is delivering your oral report when you are terrified of public speaking.  Success is picking up the pieces of a bad “yesterday”, getting up and going and making today a fresh new beginning.  Success is born of confidence and confidence is born of success. (see success article) It fulfills us by its very nature and needs not award or prize.  Success is the living of all of the ups and downs of a day, and retiring to bed still loving oneself.

“Achievement” is the grade or ranking you got for the above.  “Achievement” is the award, the paycheck, the recognition.  “Achievement” is often being what others want you to be so they can be proud, or fulfilled.  “Achievement” is the diploma you get on graduation day. Success is the momentary bliss of the “finish line”.  Achievement can feed and inspire effort, or leave a person feeling unfulfilled and empty.   The effort that precedes achievement, and a “failure” to “achieve” can also lead to self-deprecation, self-harm, and even suicidal, self-destructive feelings. It can lead to neurosis and illness.

Perhaps we can take a look at our focus on “achievement”, “grades”, “accomplishments”, “awards” and “competition” and filter out those that are healthy and those are destructive.

In any case, realize that we should avoid letting “achievement” dictate and shape success.  There is nothing wrong with a “B” on a paper, finishing 3rd place, getting the bronze metal or being a runner up.


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