Success: One Definition

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Episodes

I saw Matt Cheney’s post on this subject and felt compelled to offer up my own thoughts to those looking to climb out of debt. This TED video from Alain de Botton addresses the definition of success.  Here are some of his highlights.

  • One reason the notion of success is fractured is that we are surrounded by snobs.  Job snobbery is the biggest issue.
  • We are not materialistic,  we don’t want the goods, we want the rewards of those goods.
  • Never before has the expectation been so high and we believe that anyone can achieve everything they want.
  • Envy is the issue.  We don’t envy people we don’t relate to, but we do envy the people close to us.
  • Self helps books.  Two kinds. 1.  You can do it  2.  Coping with low self esteem.
  • Another reason is meritocracy.  It’s a great concept, yes, but it’s unachievable.  Beautiful idea,  but, you also believe that people who arrive at the bottom deserve to be at the bottom and this is crushing.  This leads to more suicides.  They own their success, but they own their failures.
  • Relief:  meritocracy is insane, an impossible dream.  Too many random factors like illness bring people down who should succeed.  Don’t judge people for their success.
  • Newspapers only report the failures.
  • One alternative.  Tragedy is an art form to show how people fail and this makes people feel better.
  • In modern society, we don’t have something we worship, so we worship ourselves.  One alternative is to worship nature.
  • You can’t be successful at everything.
  • Our ideas for success aren’t our own.  Don’t give up on the notion of success.  Just make the ideas for success our own.

My takeaways.

  • Write down your own version of success.
  • Evaluate the material good relationships you have, do they give you the rewards?
  • Stop letting expectations rise too high
  • Understand that a meritocracy is not perfect, nor should it be.
  • Find a way to be grateful each and every day.

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