This is a topic I care a lot about. Here we don’t talk about points of view or opinions, we talk about meaning. Lexical and not only. We talk about the sense of success, the meaning of the concept and the term. Yes, but what does success mean ? Any search of a good dictionary of synonyms and antonyms will respond us that success means good order , successful , victory , triumph and even affirmation , fame , fame , fame , popularity. I want to talk about success from a deeper perspective, both from the semantic point of view and from the common perception. Being successful for me means something different, always tied to determination, but less to the outcome.
Let’s start with an assumption. For me the opposite of success is failure. Not bankruptcy or loss. What do I mean by this? The etymology that says:
Success ← from lat. succĕ ssu (m) ‘event’, deriv. of happens king ‘happen’.
So what does it mean to be successful?
I personally associate the concept of success with that of resilience. Resilience is the ability of a system to adapt to change. The human being is a system. A machine, probably less perfect than what we tend to support. Certainly, however, it works thanks to the collaboration of various parties. Heart, stomach and mind included. But I will come back to this concept later.
Success means coming later, it is the result of an action. This verb contains the prefix Sub ( below, MA especially after, in front of, during ) and Cedere – [cēdo], cēdis, cessi, cessum, cēdĕre – which has the meaning of succeeding the most appropriate one. However, giving in is also close to the verb Cadere and both include the fundamental idea of movement .
Hence, we refer to the concepts of movement and occurrence related to the passage of time (sub). Success is the result of an action that creates consequences, that makes something happen.
And failure, the opposite mentioned above, is simply the condition where nothing happens because nothing has been done. Or rather, the situation where something does not happen because you have not acted .
Being successful in the end means overcoming your fears
Returning to the concept of resilience , I believe it is one of the ways that can lead to success (as previously understood). The one closest to my being. I educated, probably unwittingly, my character to resilience and now I know that this is probably the trait that allowed me to make things happen. To be successful. What does resilience mean?
Elasticity, flexibility, recovery ability. Google would say: A material’s ability to absorb a shock without breaking. But also, among my favorite definitions:
it is the intrinsic ability of a system to modify its functioning before, during and following a change or a disturbance, so as to be able to continue the necessary operations both in foreseen and in unexpected conditions.
Ultimately, this short post of mine serves to define once and for all a linguistic and conceptual nuance, probably influenced by my subjectivity.
Being successful doesn’t mean being famous. It could have this meaning if your dream was to become famous and you acted to make this dream come true. I don’t even want to be a cheap philosopher and pretend that the concept of success is not linked to that of success, a positive outcome. For many it is so, of course.
Simply, for success to happen, you need to bring the status quo into play . And that you learn to adapt positively. In the Darwinian sense of the term. Very often, it will mean overcoming your fears. In the end you want to see that life coaches are right and it’s all a challenge with yourself?