Can someone please help me with this journal topic:  Reflect on some past successes. Specifically, identify and describe an instance of succeeding that, upon reflection, turned out to be different...

Can someone please help me with this journal topic:  Reflect on some past successes. Specifically, identify and describe an instance of succeeding that, upon reflection, turned out to be different from what you had expected.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, none of us know what sorts of successes you have had or how they might have turned out to be different than you expected.  Therefore, all we can do here is to try to give you some suggestions as to how you might write this journal entry.

What you are going to have to do here is to think of some success that you might have achieved that did not turn out like you expected.  The most common way for this to happen would be if you had some success that you thought would make you happy but which really did not do so in the long run.  For example, let us imagine that there was some girl in your grade that you thought was just perfect for you.  She was really beautiful and really popular.  You really wanted to get her to go out with you.  You finally succeeded in getting her to go out with you only to find out that she was not any fun to be around.  In such a case, you succeeded in achieving your goal, but it did not turn out the way you expected.  Or maybe you were hoping to make varsity in some sport.  You made it, but it turned out that you just ended up sitting on the bench.  In that case, it might have been better for you if you had made JV and gotten to play more.  Again, your success did not turn out as you thought it would.

Alternatively, you might write about something that felt like a minor success at the time but then ended up being more important than you thought.  For example, maybe you wanted to learn how to play a certain instrument just for fun.  You succeeded, but then you found that playing the instrument was becoming a really important part of your life.

So, to answer this question, you will need to identify a success that you had.  Then you will need to say what you expected would happen if you achieved your goal.  Next, you need to discuss how the reality was different from your expectation.  Finally, you might reflect a little on why reality was different and/or what lesson you might have learned from the whole episode.

robyn-bird96 | Student

For a prompt like this, what first comes to mind for me is when I have a really big project that I have this perfect vision of what the final product is, except it never turned out the way I had originally planned, yet it still succeeded in its own way.

For example, I had to build a trebuchet for a physics project.  I had this image in my head of exactly what I was going to build and what materials I was going to use.  Instead, what happened was while I was doing research and actually building the trebuchet and practicing with it, I learned what I had originally planned wouldn't work.  I had to test different types of slings to find the best one; I had to try different arm lengths to make it work.  And I ended up adding wheels along the way because it would give it a greater trajectory (more velocity and distance).  I had to use a different type of wood than I originally planned as well, due to what was available for me to use.  I had to improvise at times on my materials as well.  My final product was nothing like the one I had designed in my mind, yet it worked perfectly and I had learned a lot about trebuchets as well.  

Think of a big project that you had to do and what changed along the way that helped you succeed.

CaitlynnReeves | Student

This is a writing excersize in perspective. It is asking you to examine your personal definition of success and how it has changed over time. 

Think about a time when you were dissapointed at first then found an up-side to the situation. Dissapointment and failure are matters of perspective. as Thomas Edison said: "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

rachellopez | Student

For this journal entry first try to think of a success you have had. This could be an academic success, and social success (maybe gaining a new friend), or a personal goal you have achieved for yourself. Once you pick your successes, think of how they have changed you and how they actually happened compared to how you planned for them to happen.

An example that might help you is my success of making a friend in high school last year who I really love and respect. This friend is one of my best friends now and is someone I can always talk to. I never expected to talk to them considering another friend of mine wasn't too fond of them. However, in class we got to talk and now we talk all the time. I feel like gaining a friend that you can trust is a great success.

That is pretty brief but hopefully it gives you the general idea :)

parama9000 | Student

You could talk about an idea you thought to be great, but was rejected, and you tried it out, to much success/failure.

You could talk about how you were resolute in one of your ideas, and as you went on with it, you realize you can make better use of other existing ideas.