[1st Place] Was your day successful today?
[1st Place] Was your day successful today?
  • Lee Ah-yeon
  • 승인 2008.12.04 19:41
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The 27th Ewha Voice Essay Contest


  The Dalai Lama once said: "Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to succeed." When I first heard that quote, I sneered at it without any hesitation. Back then, I believed that success was something you must sacrifice some of yourself to achieve. Since I was a person who had strong faith in the idea of "sweet after bitter" and my experiences were so far on my side, I strongly believed I was right.
  I sacrificed my health and sleeping hours to study and to enter the college of my dream. I gave up many of the chances I had to hang around with my friends in order to do house chores and nurse my father. This is because my father has been ill for more than 10 years and my mother could only come home once a month. To me, success was something you could grab with a lot of endurance.
  When I found myself with only tumor in my womb left after a year of hard work in a promising company, I realized my travel to success had been in the wrong direction. After my best efforts and endurance, hoping for good results, it dawned to me that after one project finished, there came another one, and another. I felt as if I was exactly like a lost traveler in desert who keeps following mirages. You think you finally find a place to get your reward, but it's gone when you get there after all that enduring. It is not because you didn’t do your best or endure enough hard work. It's because you were only following mirages. My father is handicapped and unable to use his muscles, which kept him in bed most of the day. I hadn't told anyone, but, deep inside my heart, I secretly pitied him. I thought he had failed in his life. Sometimes, after my mom comes back from work, the two of them play "flower cards." My father can't even hold his cards properly or pick one on his own, but with my help, he plays cards for hours with my mom. At most of the time he wins, and then he buys a lottery ticket, once a week, with the money he won. I knew that this was his biggest pleasure in his daily routine, so I often bought a lottery ticket for him on my way home.   One day, a few days after I quit my job for treatment, my father handed me the money to buy a ticket. With a big smile, he said, "You know what. It was such a successful day today. I bet your mother." At that moment, I started to realize how often he uses the word "success." When he succeeds in finishing his meal on his own, holding his customized spoon for the handicapped, he smiles and says, "I succeeded it!" When he finally learned how to use his electronic wheel chair after hundreds of hours of practice, he literally said, "Hooray, I did it!" Thinking of those times I thought my father has been a successful man, because his days are full of success. I was the only one who couldn't realize the truth.
  I finally saw that I had never been living my life. I had been only ignoring my days under the rationale of "I'm enduring this moment to succeed in the future." I was missing the important point here, that if I ignore this moment, the future will never come to me. In my high school years when I was preparing for the entrance exam for university, I endured hardships all my days just to enter the university. After I became a university student, I endured hardships all my days and sacrificed myself in studying for the midterms. But after midterms, there quickly came finals. After all the midterms and finals are finished, I had to sacrifice myself again to get a job.
  Watching my father, I realized, I should start to enjoy this very moment given to me because tomorrow is a gift from today, and today is what you earn from yesterday. If you only earn pain from past experiences, that's what your future will be made of.   Success is not something I had to sacrifice myself to obtain; it has always been what I could buy with the investment of my days. My days that I lived with all my heart, were not just enduring hardships with ignorance. Make each day successful and your life will be successful. Enjoy this very moment of yours, as you truly deserve to.  Live for the moment and enjoy each day. That's your success.

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