What is a Successful Story?

In an average success story, many people go through struggles from rags to riches. Throughout times, they might have stumbled across drugs and/or alcohol abuse. After maybe roughly a few years, they kick themselves and decide to make a life changing decision. My parents came into the United States around the late 80’s. My father first migrate to Los Angeles in 1986 with $200 in his pocket. With shifts in a restaurant and market, he saved that money to build his own warehouse business. My mother, on the other hand, only married my father through family arrangement due to the American Dream.

The American Dream is defined as the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. Back in my parents’ generation, the American Dream ideal was to marry someone who is migrating to the States, get a house, and raise a family. My parents did it all. They got married, came to the States, and raised two children. Growing up, I always get lectured from my mother about achieving success. In her eyes, a successful story is usually case of rags to riches. Similar to many Asian immigrants’ thoughts, kids have to go school, work hard, and make money.

Asian Immigrant kids have that achievement very easily. Us, Asian American kids, struggled with that goal. Our parents blame our laziness and compare each other how stupid we are. To me, it’s very discouraging and ignorant towards our self-esteem. My family don’t understand why it takes us longer to achieve certain goals. As I mention before in my blog, many of us take different paths to achieve our goals. Sometimes, we feel a bit useless that we’re taking so long and should have done the goal already. But we are reminded that not everyone can achieve goals on time. It is okay to be slow. As long we are on the right path to success, I can guarantee all the hard work will pay off soon.

Unfortunately, I have to keep those thoughts to myself whenever I get lectured from my mother. She has this narrow mind that if you’re not a doctor or lawyer, you won’t be successful. My mother never worked a day in her life. Sure, she took care of the house and finances. But in my opinion, I can’t picture her as a worker. I don’t use her story as a model for motivation to success. I believe she had an easy way out. I mean, she got lucky. My mother didn’t have to do anything except be a housewife for 20 years.

I honestly don’t believe in her lectures of success. Throughout college, I did research readings on doctors and lawyers. Apparently, the job isn’t as easy as others. Every job is very stressful no matter how successful you are. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a stressful job. Being a CEO at a big social media company is a lot to take in. Even through hard work and determination, any job is loaded with heavy duty regardless. But at the end of the day, if they love it, then no stress can bother them.

What is a successful story? I believe if you put through hardships and determination, someday your hard work will pay off. Regardless of who you are and what you are, you are the only person that creates your story. Who cares if others have it before you? You are doing things for yourself, not others. Before you know, those dreams would come true.


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25 year old Chinese American with an English Degree.

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