GRE Issue Essay 17

“Success, whether academic or professional, involves an ability to survive in a new environment and, eventually, to change it.”

In the world of competition, one needs to succeed in order to survive and get noticed. Success depends a lot on the personal satisfaction level of the person. While some people are satisfied with their success in being able to complete their task well, for others it is important to rise above the others and prove their worth. However, success largely comes from a person’s ability of adjusting in a new environment, and to a certain extent change it as well.

In the academic field, a student’s success is in the way he adjusts to the demands of the institution that he is studying in. It is only with this adjustment that he is able to study and learn new skills. As a child grows up there is a constant change in the pattern of academics that he has to follow. Moreover, his roles and responsibilities also keep changing and he can succeed only if he realizes them and acts accordingly. If he keeps believing that he will be spoon-fed all the study material as was done in his lower grades, he will not be able to succeed. Hence, he has to adjust himself according to his environment. One may not be able to change the environment just yet, but that does not mean that he is not successful.

Similarly, in the professional field as well one can find success only by adjusting and changing according to the environment. For example, for a typist who has learnt typing on the typewriter, there is a lot of change due to the introduction of computers. There will be very few takers for his skills on a typewriter. However, if he adjusts to the new technology and learns the computer well, he can extend his services to a wider range of people. Hence, he will be more successful if he is able to handle the latest technology in his field. In this way, any professional must keep himself aware and up-to-date with the latest changes and introductions in his field. This way their skill will be valued, which can be termed as their success in the field. That is how in the professional field, success involves the ability to change according to the environment.

Then comes the question, does success also involve changing the environment around you? If yes, then how? As discussed earlier, success is largely the ability to adapt to the new changes. However, at a certain level, one needs to rise above the rest. This is done only if he changes the norms and follows a new path. This changing of path involves changing of the environment, which can be counted as his success. In the academic field, where a person reaches the stage of research and development, he can be successful by introducing new concepts and changing what is normally accepted. Similarly, a scientist is successful if he invents a new phenomenon and forms new theories. The laws of gravitation, the science of sun and universe etc are such discoveries that have changed the way people think and believe. All big inventions and innovations have been possible due to changing of the norms. This is how they have proven successful and changed the way people live and think, or in other words, have changed the environment.

It can thus be said that although mostly success is the ability of adapting to the environment, at a certain level, it is the ability to change the environment as well.