Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TOEFL essay

A successful life is a happy life.

It may seem easy to think of a successful life as a happy life. However, there are a lot of stories of people who worked their fingers to the bone to become successful but later found the success did not make them happy. Their seemingly successful life is far from happy.

First, we usually tend to see only one side of someone’s success and quite often overlook any psychological problems involved. There are people who are considered successful by others but, in fact, are still unhappy with their life. Some of these people are not satisfied with their achievements and simply yearn for more – more money, more popularity, or just more everything they already have. Their unrealistic ambition or jealousies of others’ success make them feel unsettled and moody. Their constant obsession with their neighbors’ achievements keeps them worried about their own status in life. They continue working toward reaching more ambitious goals at all cost. This approach to life does not allow them to enjoy life itself.

Secondly, when you become successful and popularity is thrust upon you, it can be difficult to continue living the way you are used to. It may be hard to retain privacy in your life, because everyone tries to delve into your private life. The public literally wants to have a piece of you, and the media shadows you all the time. All this may negatively affect your mental well-being. This is why we have heard so many stories about stars experiencing depression or emotional breakdowns.

In addition, some mighty achievements may create a false picture of a so-called successful life. With all that accompanies a successful life, such as public admiration and wealth, one’s private life may actually be full of tragedy and misfortune. People may find it hard to balance the pressure of being successful with a miserable private life that the public might not be aware of. For instance, Marilyn Monroe appeared to be very successful. Her personal wealth still pays five million dollars a year in interest. However, she failed in her attempts to create a happy family. Her widespread popularity, which so many people dream of, did not make her happy. On the contrary, it eventually killed her.

In conclusion, it is not always possible to equate a successful life to a happy life. In some cases, success often leads people to become obsessed with the thoughts of being more famous and having more money. Moreover, many successful celebrities simply have no freedom, and the scrutiny of the public prevents them from living a happy life. Sometimes people have to pay an immense price for being successful, a price that wipes out any joy and happiness that such success brings.