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A Successful Life

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
I am filling out a scholarship form, and here's the question:

When you look back on your life in 30 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? How does this particular scholarship fit into your plans for the future?


Anyone care to share their answers? Personally, I find this type of scholarship question irritating (perhaps because my idea of success in thirty years will have nothing to do with winning this scholarship) and not really germane to the matter of me winning tuition money, but I thought you ladies and gentlemen might like to discuss!
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,647
I dislike questions like this too, but I think it's an important question to answer if someone is giving you free money. I recently filled out something similar and I went through how my steps have been calculated to lead me down a certain career path and why each of the steps was important. It's just a way for the selection committee to determine if your long-term goals are aligned with the merits required for the scholarship.

I'd probably start at the end and work backwards -- describing where you see yourself professionally and then discuss how you plan to get there.

What is the scholarship for and what field are you pursuing??
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Guilty Pleasure|1304920839|2916017 said:
I am filling out a scholarship form, and here's the question:

When you look back on your life in 30 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? How does this particular scholarship fit into your plans for the future?


Anyone care to share their answers? Personally, I find this type of scholarship question irritating (perhaps because my idea of success in thirty years will have nothing to do with winning this scholarship) and not really germane to the matter of me winning tuition money, but I thought you ladies and gentlemen might like to discuss!
No suggestions really, and a question like that would have irritated the peewad out of ME too. Especially if the people putting forth the questions are 30 years older than you - they should know better. YOUR observation on the other hand, is spot on - successful will mean something different than it means now, and heck, 30 years from now, you still may not know!

I just watched this TED video - it's about being wrong. It is a bit of tangent but I think it applies - she talks a lot about how everyone thinks their lives are going to go..a certain way, but then something ELSE happens instead. In essence, we are all wrong about a lot of things, a lot of the time, and it's what makes life interesting.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong.html

Oh wait - I take it back - suggestions DID just occur to me - being the smartass I am (at this point of my life) I'd probably say, either, "In 30 years I would call myself successful if I could be the one yanking people's chains by devising the types of stupid-ass questions that are on this questionnaire." OR "In 30 years, I hope to not be dead, I think THAT would be a big success."

OK....I know, not the biggest help. But I couldn't resist. ;))
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Dumb question, the type academics just luuuuuve. Tell 'em their fantastic education will be the foundation of all you hope to become & all the poor people you'll help. They love yammering about helping poor people.

When I was up for a big promotion once, I was asked, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" My first impulse was to holler, "How the f*** do I know???!!! Ten years ago did you see yourself now, asking idiot questions for a living?" Instead I made up some drivel about being president of the company. Guess it worked becauseI I got the job. Dumb games we play, huh?

--- Laurie
 

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
Haha, thanks guys, but I wasn't looking for advice on what to write. I do think it's a worthwhile question to answer for my own benefit, and interesting one to discuss on a forum such as this, just not really suitable for this particular scholarship. A more appropriate question would be how the money would be spent, what the degree will be used for, and maybe a shorter goal about my career and what I will do once I've finished the degree. But thirty years? Really, my idea of success when I will have literally doubled my age has more to do with the love and care I've contributed to those around me than if I received a few thousand dollars (or less) from a scholarship committee or even finishing my masters (which I will). It just seems such a broad and incongruous question for this scholarship application.

A little more information: this is a scholarship that can be applied toward any type of education from vocational school to a first degree to an advanced degree. I'm already in the masters program, and this committee is basically a group of my peers, unrelated to my educational institution. It would be like being a member of Junior League and applying for a scholarship for one semester's worth of tuition, and the committee reading my application are other Junior League members.

Again, I wasn't asking for advice on what to write, but wanted to see if anyone had anything to share about their own definition of success. I really do like the question as an open conversation topic!

I didn't want to share my own answer right away because I wanted it to be a discussion rather than me advertising my own thoughts. I will share later though :)


PS - love the bits about wanting to not be dead and wondering if ten years ago you saw yourself asking these stupid questions. HA!
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
To follow with just answering the successful life question:

To me in a successful life will mean that I've gotten an education in the field that I am pursuing - in my case I'll have my R.N. and a degree in nutrition and food sciences. I will be married to someone who is my best friend and my love. I'll hopefully have a small family, and still have several pets. I'd like to think that we'll have a small bit of acreage 5-10 acres with a comfortable home that follows the things we want, including a large kitchen for me. Hopefully I'll have a horse to barrel race on. We'll be growing our own food, raising chickens for eggs, possibly raising meat animals. I'll still be doing all the things I love to do to have fun which include riding, hunting, fishing, swimming at the springs, beach or river, taking mini vacations etc. I hope it will be a peaceful and somewhat relaxing life. We'll see I suppose.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I will feel successful in 30 years if at that time I think I have an idea about what sorts of things make me feel personally fulfilled, and I'm in a position to pursue them.

I have no idea what those things will be, as I certainly hope they'll be different than the things that currently make me feel fulfilled, so here's hoping that I have a clue!
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
I will feel successful if I am happy at the time and I can look back with fondness on my past.

I don't think any physical thing like a scholarship can play into success for me. Education could be construed as being successful so I'd probably play it that way.
 

kama_s

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,617
I think it's perfectly okay to tell them that you do not know what the next 30 years hold for you, but your CURRENT career apirations are as follows and that this scholorship helps you attain these goals by X,Y and Z.

I have been asked several times at interviews and otherwise what I see myself to be doing in the next 10 years. And I have never given a B.S. answer to that. I think people appreciate and recognize honesty.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Thirty years is SO FAR into the future! I have NO IDEA what I'll be doing and what I hope to accomplish by then. I'll be 57, so probably still teaching, although I'd love to retire early and get a second home somewhere tropical. I love palm trees. I don't think the second part of my answer is what they'd be looking for though. I get why that question was asked, but 30 years??? Come on. 5 years, sure, that one's more plausible.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
kama_s|1304955574|2916247 said:
I think it's perfectly okay to tell them that you do not know what the next 30 years hold for you, but your CURRENT career apirations are as follows and that this scholorship helps you attain these goals by X,Y and Z.

I have been asked several times at interviews and otherwise what I see myself to be doing in the next 10 years. And I have never given a B.S. answer to that. I think people appreciate and recognize honesty.
That sounds much better than me saying how much I love palm trees. Even *I'd* give the scholarship to Kama. :bigsmile:
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
3,250
Guilty Pleasure|1304920839|2916017 said:
I am filling out a scholarship form, and here's the question:

When you look back on your life in 30 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? How does this particular scholarship fit into your plans for the future?


Anyone care to share their answers? Personally, I find this type of scholarship question irritating (perhaps because my idea of success in thirty years will have nothing to do with winning this scholarship) and not really germane to the matter of me winning tuition money, but I thought you ladies and gentlemen might like to discuss!
I think my answer would be that if I died in 30 years, and I could look at the huge crowd who have gathered to mourn my death, and see the number of people whom I've served and had an impact on, I would consider myself a success. Not only from a professional standpoint, but from every aspect of my life. If having this scholarship allowed me to spend more on my family, lessen my burden on those supporting me, or free up some time to give others a helping hand, then I'd consider myself a success.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
23,950
If it was a PS scholarship we'd all say something like:

I'd have the biggest diamond on this forum and this scholarship will help me get an education so I can land a challenging, rewarding and great paying job to buy that diamond. :lol:

Seriously though, I hate those questions. They come up in interviews too. I barely plan out my menus for the week let alone know what I'll be doing and thinking in 30 years.

Good luck on getting your scholarship.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Zoe|1304984973|2916799 said:
Thirty years is SO FAR into the future! I have NO IDEA what I'll be doing and what I hope to accomplish by then. I'll be 57, so probably still teaching, although I'd love to retire early and get a second home somewhere tropical. I love palm trees. I don't think the second part of my answer is what they'd be looking for though. I get why that question was asked, but 30 years??? Come on. 5 years, sure, that one's more plausible.
You don't know what you'll be doing it's true, and I'm sure you'll do marvelous things to be proud of, but I hate to tell ya - 30 years is right around your corner. I woke up one day and was like...WTF??? How did THAT happen!? :-o

Blink of an eye, seriously.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
ksinger|1304987060|2916835 said:
Zoe|1304984973|2916799 said:
Thirty years is SO FAR into the future! I have NO IDEA what I'll be doing and what I hope to accomplish by then. I'll be 57, so probably still teaching, although I'd love to retire early and get a second home somewhere tropical. I love palm trees. I don't think the second part of my answer is what they'd be looking for though. I get why that question was asked, but 30 years??? Come on. 5 years, sure, that one's more plausible.
You don't know what you'll be doing it's true, and I'm sure you'll do marvelous things to be proud of, but I hate to tell ya - 30 years is right around your corner. I woke up one day and was like...WTF??? How did THAT happen!? :-o

Blink of an eye, seriously.
Oh no, I counted wrong! I'll actually be 67, not 57. Well, I really hope I'm retired by then, but who knows. If the retirement age rises, I may very well be still at my job.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Zoe|1305021765|2917167 said:
ksinger|1304987060|2916835 said:
Zoe|1304984973|2916799 said:
Thirty years is SO FAR into the future! I have NO IDEA what I'll be doing and what I hope to accomplish by then. I'll be 57, so probably still teaching, although I'd love to retire early and get a second home somewhere tropical. I love palm trees. I don't think the second part of my answer is what they'd be looking for though. I get why that question was asked, but 30 years??? Come on. 5 years, sure, that one's more plausible.
You don't know what you'll be doing it's true, and I'm sure you'll do marvelous things to be proud of, but I hate to tell ya - 30 years is right around your corner. I woke up one day and was like...WTF??? How did THAT happen!? :-o

Blink of an eye, seriously.
Oh no, I counted wrong! I'll actually be 67, not 57. Well, I really hope I'm retired by then, but who knows. If the retirement age rises, I may very well be still at my job.
Snort. I'm sure I will be. And don't you just look around behind you for the last decade? Hey...uh...(craning around wildly)...what hap..? How did I get?? HEY!!! ;))

Oh...and adding wrong? Sure sign: aging AND in denial about it. ;))
 
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