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Katja Pietrass
Chandler, AZ
November 2018

"Success Is Not to Be Pursued; It Is to Be Attracted by the Person You Become" - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

Beneath my final high school yearbook picture, my senior quote would be, “Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become” (Jim Rohn). As both a farewell to my fellow peers and an essence of my character, these words echo one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn.

Upon deeper inspection, this quote essentially advises readers to stop clawing their way to a goal as quickly as they think of it. Doing so will only cause these goal-seekers to take shortcuts to success. When they do finally reach that target, those individuals will not be prepared to handle the success because they are still the same people who initially dreamt of the goal- unchanged and unqualified. As a result, instead of taking the aforementioned approach, people should recognize their goals, improve their skills, and then put themselves in positions to absorb triumph. Instead of wishing that the goal were easier, individuals should wish that they were better. This will improve their characters and capabilities enough so that when the time comes, their goals will “fit.” Even if the initial plan does not work out, then their improved selves will still attract success- just a more individualized prosperity.

All things considered, the quote, “Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become” (Jim Rohn) emulates a lesson that has taken me years to understand. I used to have a specific idea of achievement for everything so as to feel as if I had a purpose. Whether it was gymnastics, school, or livestock showing, I always had a target goal and a deadline in place. However, as a result, I either never reached my goal or was too unprepared to maintain my success. With continuous disappointments, I finally decided to let go. Taking away the timeline and the anxiety, I focused on vague goals, improving one personal quirk at a time. One week, or even one month, I would work on ridding myself of a habit. The next, I would improve my time management. Over time, this strategy sincerely helped me. While there are periods when I feel as if I am accomplishing nothing, sooner or later everything does fall in place. In fact, I am apt to achieve more success than if I had been worrying throughout the process. All in all, this quote captures the person I have become. It effectively summarizes my mistakes and the rewarding lesson learned.

Reading this quote today, I wish I had understood this idea years before. I wish I had been able to let the success flow rather than blindly chasing it. As a result, if I could give one phrase of advice to my peers before leaving for college, it would consist of Jim Rohn’s above-mentioned quote. Letting go of those perfect goals and focusing on internal success before “ideal” success is not just liberating, but practical.