当前位置: 比赛首页 > college > 正文
My Definition of Success
来源:21英语网  时间:2010-08-25 17:01

第五届“21世纪杯”全国英语演讲比赛冠军——陈恒 北京外国语大学

陈恒:浙江绍兴人,1980年生于新疆生产建设兵团。1998年返沪参加高考,考取北京外国语大学国际经济法+英语专业。2002年秋赴爱尔兰都柏林大学学院英文系攻读爱尔兰文学与喜剧,获文学学士学位。曾供职于英国驻华大使馆文化教育处和爱尔兰The Asian Institute。2004年获英国雷丁大学国际研究生全额奖学金,并于雷丁大学英美文学研究院攻读哲学博士学位。

演讲稿:My Definition of Success

  "Once upon a time, there was a king who had a daughter as beautiful as a blooming rose. To all the suitors who came to the king 's palace to ask for the hand of the princess, the old king assigned three tasks to be accomplished, each next to impossible. One day, into the king 's palace came a handsome young prince..." Well, you know the rest. The three tasks may be different in different versions, but the main plot is always the same, with the prince claiming the princess 's hand triumphantly. And the ending is always the same, finishing with the line "And they lived happily ever after."

  Why aren't we tired of something so fanciful, so unrealistic, and, I would say, so unimaginative? How can a story like that endure generations of repetition? Because, I think, it is a typical success story. It is highly philosophical and symbolic. By implication, we see a 4-step definition of success: 1)a goal to be set, as represented by the beautiful princess; 2) challenges to be met, as represented by the three tasks; 3) the process of surmounting difficulties, as represented by the ordeals the youth goes through; and 4) the reward of success, as represented by the happy marriage.

  The story not only caters to everyone 's inward yearning for success, but also emphasizes the inseparability of the process and the result. The reward of success will be much amplified if the path leading towards it is treacherous, and vice versa. If a person inherits his father's millions and leads an easy life, he is not a successful person even in material terms, because there are no difficulties involved in his achieving affluence. The term "success", to be sure, will not sit still for easy definition. But as I understand it, the true meaning of success entails a combination of both the process and the satisfactory result of an endeavour. To clarify my view, let me give another analogy.

  If we changed the rules of football, greatly enlarged the goal and sent away David Seaman or any other goal keeper, so that another David, namely David Beckham, could score easily, then scoring would not give him the thrill of accomplishment and the joy it brings. If we further changed the rules by not a1lowing Arsenal 's defenders to defend, so that Beckham needed only to lift a finger, actually a toe, to score, then there would be no game at all, because the meaning of winning would have disappeared. In accepting the challenge, in surmounting the difficulties and in enduring the hardship, success acquires its value. The sense of attainment varies in proportion to the degree of difficulties one overcomes.

  The concept of success is not constant but relative because the nature of difficulty is also relative. Something you do effortlessly might pose a great difficulty for a handicapped person. In acquiring the ability to do the same as you can, he or she achieves success. That's why we greatly admire Stephen Hawking, because, though confined to a wheel chair, he has contributed greatly to the field of science.

  I myself, a rather shy person by nature who easily suffers from stage fright, had to pluck up great courage to take part in a speech contest like this. I could have stayed away and had an easy time of it by not entering for the university level contest. But I chose to accept the challenge and to face the difficulties. Now here I am. If I come out first, it will be a great success for me. If I come out last, I hope this will not be the case-but if I come out last, I will not call my attempt a failure, but will also celebrate it as a true success, because part of my goal is my own character training to be more assertive, to be brave in face of difficulties. For me, it is a meaningful step forward, small as it is, in the long journey towards the final success in my life, because I have truly gained by participating.

  Let us return to our handsome young prince and the 4-step definition of success. You may have noticed that the usual worldly criteria of wealth, position and fame were not mentioned as part of story, but rather, it emphasized the process of overcoming difficulties. The ancient wisdom had already defined the meaning of success, and this is my definition, too.

  Thank you.