4.1 What is Success?

4.1 What is Success?

4.1 What is Success?

Paraphrase of the poem:

‘The poem ‘What is success?’ is written by American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. The poet is the speaker in this poem. The poet is speaking about the concepts of success. The poet has explained platonic concepts of success rather than materialistic concepts. However, his concepts are spiritual. The poet tells all those concepts one by one. To laugh often and much is the first concept of success. The poet advises us that we should laugh a lot. We should be always in laughing situation. The poet means what we should take enjoyment of our life in joyful way. Getting respect and affection is a kind of success. Only successful people are able to get respect and affection. We should win respect of intelligent people and affection of children I However, we must have an ability of earning appreciation and enduring betrayal. We must earn the appreciation of honest critic and endure the betrayal of false friends’ Honest critic will make positive evaluation of our virtues and vices. We should welcome their evaluation. However, we should endure bad things like cheating, deception by false friends. We should neglect false friends.

The poet tells us that we should have an eye sight for appreciation. We should appreciate beauty of nature as well as beauty of world. We must appreciate whatever is good and glorious around us. We must have the ability to choose potential in other people. We should spot good things in other people. The poet advises us to leave this world a better place. The poet means that we should make the world better place. However, it should remain a better place after you or behind you. It is possible by a healthy child. The healthy child will be a responsible citizen of this world and will make this world a better place. We should be a good gardener. We should make this place beautiful by creating good garden. We can make the world better by redeeming social conditions. The poet tells us in the concluding lines that a human being (one life) had led easier life because of your existence or because of you. If it happens with us mean that we are successful in our life.

Warming Up!


a) Do you have a hobby?

Ans: Yes, I have a hobby. Reading is my favourite hobby; However, I like listening music, watching sports and drawing pictures.

b) Do you play a musical instrument?

Ans: Yes, I play a musical instrument – Tabala.

c) What is the latest thing that you learnt to do?

Ans: I learnt car driving recently.

d) Have you ever taught someone else to do something?

Ans: Yes, J have taught my younger sister to ride on cycle•

1. Prepare a speech to deliver in an interschool competition on ‘How to achieve success in life’ with the help of the following web chart.

Ans: Honourable President, Chief guest my beloved teachers and my friends. I would like to express myself on ‘How to achieve success in life.’ As we know that success is journey and not destination. I would like to say that success is not a one-day matter. It is the reward of hard work and constant efforts. We should look at the examples of successful people. We know about Baba Amate, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, Dhirubhai Ambani, Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar. It is our duty to follow all those successful people in our life. Let us seek motivation from them. We should do whatever they did to get success. However, some qualities are required, some things must be done to get success in our work. Setting achievable goal is an important thing in getting success. Whatever goals we have set, they must within our physical and mental ability. Moreover, we should have passion to achieve the goal. Achieving success is the result of planning and time management. Remember that planning always rewards with success. Do proper time management of every activity. It will give us fruitful result in getting success. Let us wait for someone or something. Sacrifice is an integral part of success. Remember that no sacrifice, no success. We should cultivate positive thinking. We should frankly admire someone’s abilities. Moreover, we should accept our mistakes gracefully. We must avoid the repetition of same mistake. I would like to tell you that success is the ladder of practice, confidence, dedication, determination and devotion. Let us make the ladder of all those qualities and reach the highest point of success. Thank you.

2. What might success mean to the following people? Think about it and write.

A student: Get good marks in the examination, understand all concepts.

A businessman: Earn a lot of money. Expand business.

A doctor: Treat all kinds of patients. Have own hospital.

A sportsman: Win matches, cups and medals. Play on national and international level.

A politician: Win elections. Get power/rule. work for common people.

A person who has applied for a job: Get call letter for interview. Face interview successfully. Get job and settle.

A teacher: Develop all skills among students. See settlement of students in different profession.

A parent: Provide all basic needs and comforts to children. Develop children in proper way. See glorious success of children.

Margin Questions for Discussion:

1) How many sentences are there in the poem?

Ans: There are two sentences in the poem.

2) Who wins the respect of the intelligent people?

Ans: A person who laughs often and much and who knows “What is success?” wins the respect of intelligent people.

3) Who wins the affection of children?

Ans: A person who laughs often and much and who knows “What is Success?” wins the affection of children.

4) Who is appreciated by honest critics?

Ans: A person who laugh often and much and who knows “What is Success?”

5) What type of friend betrays a friend?

Ans: A friend who is selfish, false and dishonest betrays a friend.

6) Which lines tell you that a parent, a good gardener, a social reformer are successful people?

Ans: “To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.”

English Workshop

1. Tick the correct alternative.

(i) The poet says that success is – to laugh often and much

(ii) The poet wants us to – earn the appreciation of honest critics

(iii) The poet wants us to appreciate – beauty

(iv) The poet wants us to leave the world a bit – better

2. Compare this poem with ‘Walk a little slower…’ and fill in the chart.

Structure of the Poem

Walk a little slower

What is Success?

1. Does it have

rhyming words?



2. Does it have a steady rhythm?



3. Are the lines of equal length?



4. Are there stanzas with equal number of lines?



3. Based on the poet’s idea of true success, think of four people in your surroundings – your family, neighbours, friends, teachers, classmates, etc. who have achieved true success.

Write in short what makes them successful.

(a) My father: My father is the most successful person I ever know. He is a hard worker. He believes in, ‘Work is worship’. His busy nature is the secret of his success. However, family is his priority. He is very careful about wellbeing of our family. He thinks that family is his source of enjoyment and happiness. He inspires us through his person. I think that his busy nature, devoted and dedicated nature made him a successful person.

(b) Mr. Kadam – Our neighbour: Mr. Kadam is our neighbour. He is a publisher. He provides question papers to different schools all over Maharashtra. He has established marketing network all over Maharashtra. He is a tactful person. He has an amiable nature. He is a man of positive qualities. I think that his presence of mind and punctuality made him a successful person.

(c) Mr. Patil Sir- My teacher: Mr. Patil sir is my English teacher. He is the most popular teacher among the students. He has deep knowledge of English language and its literature. He has command over English language. He uses simple and lucid language while teaching. He is a devoted teacher. He tries to make all round development among students. He is very punctual in his duties. I think that Mr. Patil Sir’s devoted nature made him a successful teacher.

(d) Krishna – My best friend: Krishna is my classmate as well as my best friend. He is a brilliant student in our class. He is a smart boy. He participates in games and sports. He is the champion of our school. He helps other especially poor and needy students. He is regular in his activities. He is careful about his studies. He is dedicated in his work. He strictly follows time table. I think that his regularity and dedicated nature made him a successful student.

4. List all the ‘to infinitive’ verb forms used in the poem.

Ans: To laugh, to win, to earn, to appreciate, to leave, to know, to have

5. In your opinion what things will help to make the world a better place? Discuss with your friends and write down at least three of the things.


1. Everybody should respect others. No division on the basis of religion, region, caste, colour and creed.

2. Everyone should get their basic needs. They should get a chance to earn their livelihood.

3. Everyone should live fearless and with dignity.

6. Think of different types of people who have to face great difficulties. Write what you can do to help at least one of them.

• Child labours

• Poor labours

• People below poverty line

• Physically disabled

• Illiterate people

I can do something to help the child labours. I will register their names in school. I will provide them school materials and other basic needs. I will support them physically and mentally. I will inform the importance of education to their family members.

7. Prepare a set of questions to interview

(a) a famous author Ms: Good morning Sir, I would like to know about your inspiring journey. I would like to ask some questions to you.

_ When did you enter in the field of publication?

_ Which is your first book?

_ Who motivated you to enter in this field?

_ Who is your role model?

_ How do you choose theme for your writing?

_ What difficulties did you face?

_ How many books have you written?

_ Who is your favourite author?

_ Which different awards did you get for your literary work?

_ What message would you give to the youngsters of our country?

Thank you for sparing a few minutes for me. Wish you best luck for your future.

(b) Well-known social worker in your area.

Ans: Good morning sir, I would like to know about yow social mission. I would like to ask some question to you.

_ When did you start this social work?

_ Why did you choose this field?

_ What different difficulties did you face?

_ Who motivated you to do this work?

_ Who helped you to do this work?

_ What are your future plans?

_ Are you satisfied with your work?

_ What are your expectations from Government?

_ Did you receive any award for your work?

_ What message would you give to the youths of nation?

Thank you for sparing a few minutes for me. Wish you best luck for your future.

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