Accomplishment: Definition


Hannah Chung

A science teacher at AHS, Mr. Liles receives donuts during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Everyone is an individual; defined by the things they have experienced and how they have continued on. While reflecting back upon my life, I remember the time I was disappointed to have only gotten second place in the spelling bee but others would still congratulate me for my “accomplishment,” even though I believed it to be anything but. Another time, I had received a B+ on a difficult math test, to which I was grateful to see. This leads me to question, what is an accomplishment?

There are many different definitions to accomplishments. For example, Webster’s dictionary defines an accomplishment as, “something done admirably or creditably.” But once again, I ask, how do we know when we have done something admirable or credible?

Some might say that finally growing tall enough to be able to ride the roller coaster is a big accomplishment, whereas some might say being the first place runner for a marathon is simply an accomplishment. These two different scenarios each elicit the same feeling: joy. Each time a goal or motivation is accomplished, a feeling of satisfaction and pride occurs; bringing the person’s motivation to continue working hard. This leads me to conclude an accomplishment is simply a human need for approval from themselves and others.

Yet, accomplishments cannot occur without hard work and an abundance of motivation. There are two different types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is based on tangible external reinforcements from the environment whereas intrinsic motivation aims to seek optimum levels of joy. Which type of motivation leads to an accomplishment? Stanley Schachter and Jerome E. Singer have the theory that the desire for joy equals the intensity of motivation leading us to set goals and accomplish them.