Monday, 10 August 2015

Exploring the subjectivity of success.

Alarmed with the realisation that results day looms ahead of me, a cold dread curses through my veins, an ominous premonition, a sense of unease that refuses to subside. 

On May 11th, the day before my first exam, I wrote that "my mindset is still a haze and the outcome indeterminable". In the three months since, this outlook has ceased to relent. I continue to suffocate myself with my own cynicism about my own potential, each synapse of mine blocked with self-doubt. My own and others expectations are submerging my motivation, heavily dampening my perspective. 

I yearn for the grades that I've always desired, and I beat myself up with visualised taunts of underachievement. My dreams are knotted masses of failings and tears, leaving me to wake up sweaty beneath the covers, my throat bitter and my mind cast with panic, until I realise that my dream was only ever an afflicted illusion. 

I have such strong principles and even stronger expectations. Since my earliest days I have been the sole speaker of these aims which form others' expectations. But what is success? To get the grades to be accepted into sixth form, or to be happy with my grades? 

The parameters of what define success are constantly fluctuating - depending on the mental climate, the needs and the wants of every individual. In other words, success is an entirely subjective concept. 

My success is not somebody else's idea of success. In fact, you need a disparity in perspective to gain a sense of success in the first place - if everybody were to be happy with the same result, no single person would excel beyond average. Would success still exist?

However, success, subjective to any motive, is relative. And so are the confines of others', and my own, expectations. The trouble lies where my success is relative to my own expectations - high.  

I consolidate myself with the fact that all things are relative, my grades; our existence. But as much as I will myself to simply settle, I can't. I'm a victim of archaic academic success, and as much as I despise to admit that fact, I need the reassurance of ink on paper, the poster of conformed success. 

But success itself is not ink on paper. I must remember that fact, if nothing else. Success is fulfilling your aims, your goals. 

Even so, I can't dismiss my ambivalence. 

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