On Success

Most folks want to be successful at something in their personal or professional lives, but what is success? Is it simply completing a task correctly?

I’m working on a Master’s degree in Adult Education, and the current class is on the value of collaborative learning. One of the things I like about this program is that it tends to practice what it preaches more often than my previous teacher prep degree. (Unfortunately, the perspective is a little biased in one direction, but I’m learning the skills to go do my own research on the parts I feel are lacking).

This time, the instructor divided us into groups to complete a template detailing a new course involving the concepts and techniques described in our textbooks. This group project is now over and the class is reflecting on the experience in a forum.

Based on the instructor’s feedback on individual pieces of the assignment, my group will score quite well. She had no corrective feedback for us on any of the segments.  All four people in my group were very meticulous. We’ll get the final score this weekend or next week, but I anticipate a good result.

Does that mean we succeeded? Everyone who has posted their reflection to the forum seems to think so. They describe how their teams worked together to complete the project and turn in a (hopefully) high-scoring effort. The goals for this course seem to point toward equating success and completing the project with high marks. It’d be a poorly designed class otherwise.

The two teammates who have posted their reflections thought we did a fabulous job and should be proud of our efforts. So, why don’t I feel like I’ve succeeded? 

I’ll have to give it some more thinking, perhaps.  In the meantime, what do you think characterizes “success?”


4 thoughts on “On Success

  1. Personal satisfaction that is was done to the best standard I could achieve and graded fairly. Surprisingly, if I don’t think I did all that well, I don’t expect the higher ranking. So, yes, personal satisfaction with the end result is a major piece of what I see as success.


    • Ah, I see. In that case, that would explain part of my feeling of unsuccessfulness in this course. I ended up much aggravated with a couple people in my group. Part of that’s my own fault. I should have stood up to them when their efforts left me at the margins.


  2. Success: A young man with special needs who works at the McDonald’s by my store. He was named McDonald’s 2014 crew person of the year, for the entire Colorado-Wyoming-Nebraska region.


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