Success Is The Best? You Decide

The great Confucius once said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” I happen to love quotes, but I heard this particular one in the most unlikely places. Guess where? The T.V. show “Revenge.” Yes, I watched that glamorous, ridiculous soap opera when it streamed. I know, how gauche of me, to lower myself and watch inane shows that focused on scandals. Speaking of “Scandal,” I watched many seasons of that which also had its share of revenge. Without going too far away from the subject at hand, are there some forms of revenge that are considered positive?  Well, that is debatable. Let us examine a few emotions that are looked upon unfavorably. Take anger. The perception of this robust response is often one with a negative connotation. Used constructively, however, it can mobilize people out of complacency.

Fear is an emotion we, well, fear experiencing because it can paralyze. Conversely, fear can be positive as it can help us avoid dangerous situations. I would argue the same polarity for revenge. Injustice has existed for as long as human beings began roaming the earth. Yet, success can help them rise above the fray of inequity.

What if I don’t like the word revenge, you might ask? Is there a more politically-correct word? Yes, there are many. If you stay with the Rs, a response or remedy comes to mind. I suppose if you want to stretch, there is the word ”route.” How about outside the letter R? The term “approach” stands out. There are probably many synonyms that would fit, but isn’t there something pungent about the word ”revenge?” Think about it.

Join Together and Celebrate Success

Success is the best ___. You choose, but more on the topic of success. A couple of years ago, I was at an event with about 50 to 60 other professionals. The crowd was racially diverse. All participants were small business owners, sole proprietors, or involved with nonprofit organizations. Whatever the background, everyone was there to pursue something that would help their business. The entrepreneurial spirit was the glue that united the group.

As far as sexual orientation, religion, and, thank God, politics, no discussion ensued even though it was the week of the Kavanaugh hearings. Again, the pursuit of excellence was the goal, and regarding people’s preferences and identities, no one asked, no one shared, and no one cared. Being successful with a particular venture was the only goal.

If Possible, Begin The Success Path Early

All who attend display the fact that with the right circumstances and expectations, children can excel regardless of their socioeconomic background.

Paving the road to success can begin at a young age. There is a charter school in NYC that is appropriately named Success Academy. Numerous articles have highlighted the achievements of Success’ students. Children enter through a lottery system. Much of the school’s composition is of underprivileged children. All who attend display the fact that with the right circumstances and expectations, children can excel regardless of their socioeconomic background. According to an article written by Dr. Thomas Sowell in the Wall Street Journal on June 18, 2020, “Their predominantly black and Hispanic students already pass tests in mathematics and English at a higher rate than any school district in the entire state. That includes predominantly white and Asian school districts where parental income is some multiple of what it is among Success Academy students.” How is that for overcoming obstacles of low income and the opportunity to achieve success? Well, success here is the best, whatever word you choose, for anyone who doubted these children’s ability. I am sure their parents experience great joy, knowing their budding flowers have a higher chance of a glorious bloom.

Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Success

Now let us go back in time to someone whose odds were not in his favor. Benjamin Banneker had a few months of education at a one-room Quaker school. Early on, however, he exhibited signs of mathematical and scientific genius. Reportedly, Mr. Banneker built a clock out of wood, modeled from a pocket watch. Later, he borrowed a telescope from his neighbor and taught himself astronomical calculations. This self-learning helped him predict a solar eclipse. Throughout his life, Mr. Banneker continued to involve himself in other innovative enterprises. The irony here was that not only was he never formally educated, but he was a descendant of former slaves, living as a free black man in the 1700s. The yearly almanacs spread his fame as the “African astronomer, ” which was perfect fodder for the abolitionists to fight racial stereotypes. How sweet it is when you have a child of former slaves surge to the highest levels of success.

Success is the Best????

As exemplified, there is nothing more exhilarating than the path toward success. Circumstances, opportunities, tenacity, and mindset are the elements necessary to not only begin but remain on the topsy turvy journey toward this goal. Yes, success is the best? Well, no matter what anyone thinks, I standby, “revenge.” To me, it encapsulates passion and determination, and what could be more sumptuous?

What Are Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts about the positive side of revenge? Is success the best revenge? Have you ever experienced it in a way you or someone else doubted you could? I invite you to share.

Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett is a Speaker, Author, Licensed Therapist, and Podcaster and is known as the “UnStuck” expert. She has developed programs based on her experience and is hired by associations and corporations all over the country to share her expertise. Darlene is a high-content speaker with an engaging and energizing style. Darlene loves working with people and believes her foundation as a Therapist and Hypnotherapist validates her position that everyone can get UnStuck. When it comes to her deep understanding of human behavior, communication, and relationships, Darlene not only helps refurbish the house but steady the foundation. She has been quoted in Knox News, MSN.com, Bustle, and Best Life and has written many blogs and articles. Her book, Stop Depriving The World of You: A Guide for Getting Unstuck, was published by Sound Wisdom in November 2018. Darlene’s podcast “Tap Into The Power of U” is for men and women 40+ who wish to get unstuck. Darlene is a member of many associations and is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She has served on a variety of Boards, including, more recently, the National Speakers Association - New England and Abby’s House in Worcester, MA. A free ebook, Five Steps To Get UnStuck: For Professional Women of Faith Fifty+, is available on her website at https://www.DarleneCorbett.com. In her personal life, Darlene enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, and close friends, as well as crocheting, reading, attempting tricky crossword puzzles, yoga, staying healthy and loving life. Along with being a bibliophile, she is a logophile. Thus, Darlene adores discovering new words, being challenged by Jumble Scrambles, and extraordinarily challenged with learning a new language. She thanks God every day for giving her the energy and excitement to continue to look forward to what is ahead.


  1. Thank you dear Laura as always for your thoughtful commentary. Yes, I believe like you there is a positive side of the coin even for revenge. Some people associate it only in a negative light, but the quote “Success is the best revenge” has merit. Your examples are wonderful. I appreciate your input.

  2. Thank you so much for this essay, Darlene! What an interesting perspective as I do believe there’s some truth in using the energy of “revenge” for goodness. Many pivot points in my life were fueled by an “I’ll show you!!” defiance deep inside of me. When certain people would say, “You can’t (fill in the blank)” or “You’re just a girl, so you can’t….” or whatever. I often used this as fuel for the next accomplishment for my life. This all reminds me of the quote by Christopher Reeves: “For everyone who thought I couldn’t do it. For everyone who thought I shouldn’t do it. For everyone who said, “It’s impossible.” See you at the finish line!!!” Dr. Wayne Dyer often spoke about using people’s doubts as fuel for your dreams. I know that’s a little different than “revenge.” yet I do believe these are related to one another. Create a live you love living in love and service–become a loving, forgiving, gracious, strong human being–a sweet, positive “revenge” and a rich fulfillment, indeed. Great topic!!