The Means to the End of Success: Evita Perone


Successful women interest me. I have always been intrigued to get into the mind of those women, to learn more about how they did it, and how they balanced their careers and success with their family and personal life. After watching a matinee showing of “Evita” in New York, which portrayed one of two sides of the story about how she became successful, I had many questions. To learn more about the story, I would suggest looking at the entry on Wikipedia here and watching the musical, or reading about it here to see both sides of the story, which is what I did.

In summary, Maria Eva Duarte de Peron or “Eva” was born a bastard, the youngest of 5 children, whose mother was the mistress of a married man. Her father had abandoned them when she was only 1, leaving them with only the legal right to use his last name. Needless to say, Eva had a rough childhood as an outcast by society because of both her illegitimacy as well as her family’s poverty. However, she had big dreams, and at the age of 15, she left her town of Junin to the big city of Buenos Aires to pursue a career in the arts. Eva worked as an actress and model, finally becoming famous when she joined a popular radio drama, eventually co-owning that very same station. Financially stable, she began to pursue her political career.

Her fate was to meet Juan Peron (then Secretary of Labor) at a fundraiser gala. Peron took her as his pupil, mentoring her in the political arena. A year later, after Eva succeeded in organizing a protest for his release from prison, Peron left his wife and married Eva. With her help, he campaigned to become president and won by a landslide. The people of Argentina loved Eva, whom they began calling “Evita” as a form of affection, as she represented the idea that even “one of the people” can become such a huge icon in the country. Evita supported her husband throughout, cleverly managing his image, strategy and public relations. She always stressed that the people should come first, and began her own charitable foundation that helped thousands of people in the country. Evita died of cancer at the early age of 33.

Many people say that Evita “used” men to get what she wanted and move forward in her career, engaging in a scandalous lifestyle. The musical takes on that point of view, showing her as being involved with many men, pursuing a married man and causing his divorce, and never being satisfied with what he has, allowing the power, money and fame to get to her head.

Regardless, she knew exactly what she needed to do to get where she did in life; the question is, could she have achieved the same without having to sacrifice her principles? Did she take the “quick and dirty” road, rather than the longer more honest road? Did she truly love Peron, or did she pursue him for her own interests in power? Do the most successful people always have the toughest beginnings? Can we call all that she achieved “success”? Is it still “success” even if she became very sick and died at an early age? How do you define success? And do the means of success not matter as much as achieving the success itself?

I feel that a lot of sacrifices have to be made when you want to be successful, regardless if you are a woman or a man. Some of these sacrifices might be giving less time towards what is important in your life (such as spending less time with family); some sacrifices could be giving up on certain ideas, ways of thinking or even principles. Personally, I understand the need for sacrifice, but I could never go against my principles and values. In the past, I did end up sacrificing my time with loved ones, and even taking care of my health, for my career; but never any of my values. I did have to change the way I believed things should be done and the way I look at things, which was difficult at times. Success for me today is being able to balance all areas of my life while achieving the maximum of my goals, dreams and purpose of making a difference. To me, the means of achieving success is as important as the success itself, for if you are someone with a conscience, how can you enjoy the success if the means you pursued to achieve it was tainted? In addition, I am a believer that one can learn best from their experience, and going on the “longer” journey is a benefit to the soul.

Another controversial yet interesting aspect of it, is how do successful women handle and balance being both powerful and successful, with the natural ego of their men? It’s true that this issue is not as widespread today as it was in the past, and we do find some examples where the woman is more successful and powerful than the man; however, to what degree do those men really not care about that? I have a feeling that even if men claim not to be affected by it, they actually are, whether consciously or subconsciously. Evita cleverly played her role in the background, always putting her husband at the forefront; yet, for any careful spectator, they could see that she was a big part of his success and power.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


10 comments on “The Means to the End of Success: Evita Perone

  1. “Success for me today is being able to balance all areas of my life while achieving the maximum of my goals, dreams and purpose of making a difference”.

    Then do it looking at the bigger picture of your life: Family, work, and love. It is never too late. And it is never impossible.

  2. @DinaShoman i read the ur article ,,,,well if you are a true muslim u will have faith that Alah wrote the destiny and ” rezeq” for everyone whether u achieve that the good or bad way you gonna have the same results ( success money ,,,,, u name it) that does not mean u just sit and do nothing, in our era ” information age” it does not always have to take long tome to become wealthy like the old times ( google founder made 100 billion in five years) ur on the other hand it took shoman family 80 years and 3 generations to make 3 billions or less , and now u left the management after trouble with board !! See the irony ? U for example have everything anyone might dream if to succeed money connections education personality looks ,,,,, all u need is big dream or cause , and by that i do not mean another billion dollars ….. Wat do u think ??

  3. Well written!!!
    In my opinion, success is defined by how happy you are in your life and the way you go about to achieve your goals. By defying ones values and principles, I have a hard time believing that someone can be truly happy or be able to live with themselves comfortably. Principles and values are instilled in you and if you are able to ignore them for the time being where success may seem more worth it, they will come back and haunt you one day. One is only able to ignore them for a very short time, where your mind is playing games and you are hungry for power. But once you are there, you will realize, your principles are more important and question yourself for what you have done. That is why, I highly respect men/women who stick to their values and will not defy them for any reason of the other, even if it means losing something they’ve worked for for years. End of the day, they will live at ease rather than have all the power and what people may see as “success.”

  4. In my opinion inventions and medical breakthroughs are considered success. Why ? because a large segment of the society and in some cases the entire human race can benefit out of these successes.It is obvious that only a hand full of people through out history that are considered major contributors to these two successes. On the individual level it all depends on the person how s/he defines it from their own perspective. A physically challenged person might consider going to the bathroom and back to his bed is a major success. On the flip side a sky diver might consider opening his parachute 15 seconds before hitting earth is a success. To me personally I think that being healthy and not suffering from any major chronic diseases is considered a success. Money, fame, social status worth nothing in comparison to staying healthy.No money in the world can buy a good health.

  5. I think being patient is the key. its only a solo thought. I am a believer of ‘everything will turn out for the best’. You can measure success in one aspect of life but you can never measure the success of a person’s life. its too complex and we know too little even about ourselves to know how successful we are. My view on my personal life will always be that i am not that successful, i always want more… more money, more education and even more friends 🙂 i traveled to reach my goal and i still don’t think that i reached there so i will keep going. Maybe i am after the process rather than the results.

    At night in bed i always think about life, i hate the feeling of guilt whenever i do wrong – ethically wise. So that is a red line for me.

  6. Interesting article.

    The “definition” of success is highly personal. For some people, the only thing that matters is the bottom-line. If someone’s definition of success is having lots of money, then being a successful entrepreneur like Bill Gates or being a bank robber are equally valid means to achieve success. But this is a very narrow definition of success.

    For other people, “principles” are part of their vision of success. That breaking those principles is, in of itself, a measure of failure.

    And important thing to consider is what meaning someone ascribes to a certain activity. If someone cares about knowledge for example, they would enjoy getting a high grade in an exam. That high grade measures and validates their knowledge in a certain subject. Such a person would not enjoy a high grade obtained through cheating of his neighbor, because this high grade is not a real reflection of their level of knowledge. On the other hand, a person who doesn’t really care about knowledge, might be satisfied with a high grade obtained by cheating.

    So, I guess when someone pursues a goal in life, it matter a lot what completing that goal means to the person. If that goal is good on it’s own, then any means could be acceptable. But if the goal is a reflection of a deeper desire (like wanting a high grade, when the desire is knowledge) then not all means are valid to achieve that outcome.

    “I did end up sacrificing my time with loved ones, and even taking care of my health, for my career; but never any of my values.” – This is a curious statement. What is your definition of “values”. Spending time with loved ones IS a value. Succeeding in your career is also a value. So, the conclusion I would make based on your decisions is that you value success in your career MORE than spending time with loved ones. [Nothing wrong with that, if this is an educated conscious choice.]

    It’s almost like having exactly 1$ in your pocket, and having to decide whether to buy ice-cream or chocolate bar (assuming 1$ is enough to buy only one of them). You end up buying the item you like more. Time that we have in our life is limited, and so we have to weigh the pros and cons of each decision. Your choice seems to suggest that you’d rather further your career more than spend time with loved ones. Both are values, but each person puts a different weight on each of those values.

  7. Too much philosophy … Go enjoy life …

  8. All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,


  9. Thank you Shakespeare.

    You will always be remembered for what you stand for.

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