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Money; An Indicator of Success?

It would not be wrong to say that most people, if not everyone, run after money. Well, why wouldn’t they? We live in a capitalist world; the more money you have, the higher your value, the more power you hold. Saying that money is unimportant would be a completely incorrect statement because as much as we would like to deny it, money is one of the most essential things to survive. Without money, you cannot have a roof over your head, food on your plate, or clothes on your body. However, some people equate wealth to success. By definition, success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. It is perceived by many that this aim is the accumulation of wealth. I believe this aim can be anything, it can be finalizing a million-dollar deal for someone while simply getting out of bed for someone else. Success can have a different meaning for different people.

If I ask you to list ten people whom you think are successful, it is highly likely that most of the people on this list would be rich like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Kylie Jenner. It is a common perception that more money means more success. When one sees someone living a lavish lifestyle, wearing expensive designer clothes, and traveling in luxury vehicles and private jets, one cannot help but feel envious of all the extravagance. This leads to the seed being planted in people’s minds that being rich is the ultimate goal in life. If we take an example of a teenager deciding what career to choose, one of the more important factors taken into consideration is: how much will I earn? Putting in endless study hours, spending large amounts of money, and sometimes compromising on other parts of life such as leisure, self-care, and spending time with family, the main outcome each student expects is to earn an amount that can enable him/her to live a comfortable life. This contributes to the notion that success is defined by wealth.

Undoubtedly, money is a necessity and can bring happiness to one’s life. However, it cannot be the universal indicator of success. The actual meaning of success is the fulfillment of a goal. This definition itself makes success subjective. Each individual has his/her own purpose and ambition in life and therefore their meaning of success can be totally different from that of the next person. Speaking from my own experience, I have seen people with a great passion for certain subjects, opt for professions that they might not be interested in but still pursue because they are lucrative. This lack of interest can result in unhappiness and regret, and these are not characteristics of a successful person.

Furthermore, wealth is not a constant. Someone might be rich today and poor the next day. Being part of the race for money leads to materialism. It is a cycle where one is trapped and the thirst for such worldly desires becomes endless. Whereas achieving success leads to happiness and satisfaction. It depends on each individual, what they think defines their success; it can be having good, supportive friends and family, or acing a test, or fighting a disease or mental illness, or getting a job, building a house or even becoming a better person. One individual’s success cannot be compared with another’s. In conclusion, we live in a materialistic world and therefore end up competing against each other for money, whoever attains more money is more successful. However, I believe money cannot be thought of as an equal to success, we define our own success.

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