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Redefining the concept of success

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Redefining the concept of success

Postby Jackal » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:31 am

I just watched an interview on AlJazeera (yep, I'm a big AlJazeera fan) in which a reporter interviews a philosopher who talks about how the economic crisis is forcing people in the west to reevaluate their concepts of "sucess" because many of their old ideas about "success" are unrealistic and unattainable in this current economic climate. They also talk about how in the west right now, most people's concept of "success" generally means "professional success." ... 70153.html

I think part of the essence of Happier Abroad is that we have created our own definitions of success which are different than the standard American one. The standard American idea of success is probably "Earn a lot of money in your job in America. Marry an American woman. Buy a house in America." Which, of course, seems laughable to us because the modern reality is so different. The "American dream" may have been sensible in the 1950s, but now it's just silly and outdated--at least within the USA.

And we had our ideas long before any economic crisis forced us to think this way. We're way ahead of the curve as far as living a lifestyle which permits happiness in the modern world goes. And other people are only now starting to catch up...
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:28 am

I remember some of my friends, still trapped in a declining Hollywood, once told me that maybe I had the right idea and got out while the getting was good. These are guys who likely have 6 figure salaries as well, but they are married to American women (well, one is divorced now) and trapped under a house and two cars etc.
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Postby momopi » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:18 am

Success is, setting a goal and reaching it.
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Postby jsmith » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:45 pm

i think a good example is a former co-worker of mine.

he was from Ireland. He was a graphic artist at the kinkos i was working at. but steven would come to work everyday drained with his head down.

Eventually he opened up to me. He revealed that his American girlfriend broke away form him because she claimed that "a man dating me has to making atleast 60,000 a year at a minimum and have a sense of humor too"

According to him, she said he was boring and sad too. and he said i his parents back home could not understand why he couldn't find anybody. this made him very sad all the time. But i look at it like this. He was not reaised in a materlistic and narcacisstic culture that ours is. So he was already handicapped before hand.

So now he is in American and he is taking a beating. Nobody ever told him, that if your dealing with women, especially american women, yo have to have $$$ in your pocket. So the more charm, looks and $$$ you have - the easier it is.

but i felt really sorry for steven
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:03 pm

momopi wrote:Success is, setting a goal and reaching it.

I wouldn't disagree. Though I like the Earl Nightingale definition which says that a success is someone who has a definite chief aim and is working towards it.
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Postby Contrarian Expatriate » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:35 pm

We need to be careful about the term success, because it means different things for different people.

Ask yourself what would give you lifelong personal fulfillment. Are you at the point of personal fulfillment? If not, you are not a success just yet.

Personal fulfillment comes in many forms. Mother Theresa was personally fulfilled by living in poverty to help the less fortunate. Donald Trump is personally fulfilled by making successful business deals and appearing in the media. The hick from West Virginia is personally fulfilled by catching his dinner each night in the woods, and cooking it up on the wood stove.

The problem is that American culture, via Hollywood and Corporate advertising, put out the notion of success being the "American Dream" and most silly Americans bought into that. Many suffer from that mistake today.

What is success for me? Living abroad on a good salary, early retirement at age 50, and having serial relationships with women half my age. I don't need to be a millionaire, but money enables my success life so it is important. I don't want to be married, I don't need kids, and I don't buy into the nonsense that traps too many other men into wage slavery. In that sense, I'm a success too.

Success is a deeply personal assessment and don't let anyone determine for you what constitutes personal success for you.
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Postby djfourmoney » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:57 am

I do think most of us on this board are ahead of the curve.

As I have said elsewhere on the web, the politics (in America) of unemployment have tied hands. Tax policy will solve some of it, but a complete reworking will be required, which means less people becoming successful and far more people being "happy" with their average income and lifestyle that goes with it. I think we can strike a balance here, but not in the current political waters.

I believe I know what will make me happy. That is not making million dollars and all the problems that go with it. Some people believe money solves problems, its solves problems of scarcity in the system but not much else. It won't make you smarter, it won't make you nicer, it won't make you law abiding either. In fact, there are too many people that want to turn you to the "dark side" just because you have money.

So early on, I figured I would never be as rich as the next person; I figure if I did reach it, I wouldn't be as rich as some people and had no desire to make more than them. Its easier to be working poor or even middle class if you don't burden yourself too much. I guess what I want to do is work the least amount I can as far as physical work is concerned.

I don't think giving information or talking about information is "work" so if people want to pay me for being knowledgeable which is what they are doing in IT, then FINE.

They pay extremely well IMHO for largely not doing much and given how many people have computers but don't know how they work even for simple task is why people with this information are so valuable in the increasingly modernized workplace.

I think I waited for a good time to be involved, its becoming less about hexadecimal and html and more about graphical interfaces, it will just get easier from here.

This will pay for the lifestyle I want. Which is to work less, have an attractive wife and healthy children. I do want children and the best way to have them is in a committed relationship where both of you have an obligation to those children. Nobody says you have to work jobs you don't like, live in places you don't like and deal with people you don't like.

All that is controllable.
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Postby Grunt » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:34 pm

"Happiness is the Exercise of Vital Powers, Along Lines of Excellence, in a Life Affording Them Scope" -- Aristotle (roughly translated)
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