Success Is An Iceberg

Written by Leadership Fellow Sebastian Scott, MBA’15.

A few weeks back, as I was looking on LinkedIn, I came across a great visualization titled, “Success Is An Iceberg”. And although I wasn’t able to locate the exact source of the photo, I suspect that the “Iceberg Theory”, which was made famous by the writing style of American writer Ernest Hemingway, inspired this image.

To me, the message is quite simple: the reality is that “life” is not easy and “life” is not fair. It’s easy for everyone to look at someone else and think, “wow, they are successful” or “they have a good life”, but sometimes we forget to ask ourselves, “how did they get there” or “what do I need to do in order to be that successful”. And while we read books, watch television shows, and listen to stories of triumph, I don’t think we hear enough, in detail, about the journey and struggle to success.

The truth of the matter is that success is like an iceberg. As spectators, we only see the top layer or the final result. But it takes much more than just showing up or using your words in order to be successful. In order to be successful, it takes hard work, sacrifice, good habits, failure, persistence, being goal oriented, focus, and risk. And even if this formula doesn’t pan out as perfectly planned, it is your job to get up and keep trying.

As Brandeis IBS students, fighting for the best internships, the best jobs, academic achievement, and leadership positions is a part of every day life. But the students that succeed are the ones who show up, go the extra mile, and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals and dreams. The most successful students at Brandeis IBS and most successful people in life are icebergs.



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