What Success Really Looks Like

Get Clear. Get Into Grad School. Get On With Your Life.

by Dr. Khia on October 3, 2011

what success looks like

This illustration has been making the rounds around Facebook for a couple of days and I liked it so much I wanted to share it here. I have no idea where this drawing originated from but I do know that I LOVE it for telling the simple and honest truth about the path to success.

You may have dreams of becoming a lawyer, doctor, or CEO. You may want to create some new innovative medical procedure to save lives or stumble upon the cure to cancer so that no one else knows the pain of losing friends and family to the disease.

You may want to be appointed to the Supreme Court, work as a White House Fellow, Fulbright or a Rhodes Scholar.

You may want to see your work published alongside people you admire in academic journals, textbooks, popular press, or featured in an interview for TV or documentaries.

You want your work to MATTER – to save or improve lives, to explain what we do not yet understand, to inspire and make an impact on others for the better.

Most of us don’t get granted “success” the first time we seek it

I am a firm believer of the saying that SUCCESS = PREPARATION + OPPORTUNITY. All of the bad news, setbacks, disappointments, rejections, and the “this-didn’t-work-out-like-I-wanted”s are going to happen regardless. I know because it happened to me.

Most likely, your road to success will look like those squiggly lines in between here and there. Try as we might, there is no way you can plan or prepare or worry yourself out of avoiding the curve balls of life.

We must accept the squiggly lines in our lives and make a decision to move past them. Bittersweet as they are, the squigglies in life help you fine-tune your vision, encourage you to step up with action, and prepare you for the opportunities that will present themselves tomorrow.

Your brilliance belongs in grad school!
Subscribe to get updates delivered straight to your inbox

  • Thanks for such a great post! It’s a reality check and motivation tool for those of us on our way up!

    • Thanks for the comment, Z. I’m so glad you found the article useful. More to come soon!

  • This is soooo true. I remember talking to a friend – was it you – about Jay-Z’s line on Primetime. It was mentioned that Jay started in ’88, but didn’t really make it til 96…. that’s 6 years of grindwork before he got anywhere. If you read Decoded more of the story is in there as well… but look at him now!

    • That was me! I really like “Primetime” because it tells the story of the journey to what may have looked like “overnight success.” All of those years of putting in work and definitely applicable to most any career, especially when you’re talking about investing MUCHO years of your life in grad school.

  • This illustration made me chuckle because it is so spot on! Once I grasped this concept (well i am still working on it lol), things became a little easier for me. I know and understand that I am going to have to work going it and it may not be as easy as previous efforts have been.

Previous post:

Next post: