It is a popular saying that ''success is a journey not a destination.'' However, after I dedicated some volume of thoughts to the saying, then I observed that it is too vague and needs to be restructured.
Firstly, what is success? Success has been defined in so many ways by several authors, but in this article I am going to use Napoleon Hill’s definition of success. He was the first person to present to the world a credible success philosophy, having studied variables that explain why some people succeed, and why some fail in life. It took him about 20 years to carry out this research before he published his success philosophy.
Napoleon Hill in his book entitled: “think and grow rich” defines success as a progressive actualization of a worthwhile goal. Based on the point I am trying to proof, I am going to select three words from the Hill’s definition and emphasize their connotation in relation to success. The words are progressive, actualization, and goal
That Success is progressive means it doesn’t occur overnight, but requires a gradual process. The word actualization as used in the definition means success can be actualized; it means success is a destination that can be reached, while goal as used in the definition connotes a blueprint, an idea or a plan to be transformed into reality.
Deducing from the above analysis it is obvious that success can’t be a journey absolutely. If success is a journey, what then is the destination to be reached? It would have been more valid to say success is a destination and not a journey but that is also wrong, though it makes a better sense than the former.
What then is the right saying? Looking at the nature humans, we would notice that our little time here on earth is used for various pursuits. By the time we graduate from high school, the need to get a college degree arises, and we begin a journey in that direction. When we graduate from college, we tend to work towards getting a job, or starting our own company, getting married, go for a master’s degree or a second degree and so on. The pursuits are endless.
In line with this reality, it would be wrong to claim absolutely that success is a journey or that it is a destination, but instead it would be right to say that success is a journey with a destination. A person is said to be successful when he reaches that destination. In most cases arriving at one destination marks the beginning of another journey. However one may embark on several journeys to different destinations at the same time, and the time of arriving at the various destinations may not necessarily be the same.
At every phase of our life, we are either reaching a destination or beginning a new journey to another destination. It is this way because success is not a one way thing, it is dynamic. In the life of a single individual, we can talk about academic success, career success, financial success, marital success and so on. Each of the itemized successes is an end or a destination on its own which the individual strives to reach. However, it is possible for one to succeed in certain aspect of one’s life and fail in the other aspect. The dynamic nature of our life makes success a continuous journey with successive destinations to be reached and not absolutely a journey.