Journal Article — Measures of Personal Success and Failure: A Self-Assessment, Applying the Sociological Imagination — by Minxing Zheng


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In this paper the author explores the meanings of personal success and failure as internalized from broader society in contrast to his own life, culture, and family background, professional aspirations, and emergent critical thinking and values. Using various sociological concepts and writings, he asks and seeks to explore questions such as: “How am I doing? Am I having a successful life so far or have I had more failure than success? How do I measure my personal success and failure? Was my success or failure based upon my own standards or other people’s determinations? How do I decide my standards? Are they influenced by other people’s perception? What is considered to be a success and what is considered to be a failure? Was my success really successful or were they considered successful only according to other people’s considerations? Did I really fail in my failure or was I just locking myself behind another set of bars created by other people? Am I the only one who has been living in such a life pursuing this kind of success and avoiding that kind of failure or am I just one of many others whose eyes are blindfolded by the society’s perception?”

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