If you see the exchange of comments on my last post, you would see the thrust of my argument that what needs to be done is to use the word ‘success’ in a particular context.
Let us see the above three cases. The first friend has indeed achieved a great deal of success in the areas of money, business leadership and status.
The second friend achieved a great deal of success in national and international academic circles. He also achieved quite a bit of fame as an accomplished teacher whose students achieved great successes as well.
I succeeded in my own way in employment, consultancy and retirement on my terms.
All three of us recently met and discussed precisely this subject and came to the conclusion that on balance we have each succeeded in more aspects of our lives than failed. Failures however have been very much part of our lives and here again, it is a matter of using the word ‘failure’ in an appropriate context.
Generalizing on the meaning of some highly subjective words like these two, can create complications in understanding the message that is being conveyed. Apart from the context, another area of importance is the communicator’s point of view that can affect perceptions.
Can you think of other words that can cause these kinds of problems? Would you like to share them here?