How important is money/fame to define success and happiness ?

Jimmy (@jimmy) 9 years, 6 months ago

Looking around I sense an ubiquitous burden of competitiveness and performance surrounding us in our day-to-day lives. It has become so important “to be someone” to have a sense of acceptability. Peoples’ approval has become such a vital part of our lives, our success/failure system that without it we seem to feel inadequate in asserting and/or following our own observations/ judgements of our personal and professional stand. Today money and fame have engulfed us into its charm and enchantment to such an extent that we seem to find ourselves empty without having them in our lives. Our happiness, satisfaction, success seems to be rooted back to money/fame. People have started losing faith in their ability to create or develop original concepts/things fearing the potential unacceptability by people leading to no or less money/fame. But isn’t happiness and success really about being able to do and be what you want to ? Why has it become so important for others to tag our lives as a success or failure on the basis of our financial and social stances ? Has happiness lost it true form or identity ?

June 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Jeremy (207)C (@chadvice) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I certainly don’t think happiness has lost its true form, it has just become skewed by the subjective beliefs of a society nurtured into having capitalistic, superficial, and society-driving mindsets.

I think that as the internet opens up more communication between people like you and I and everyone here, we will all start to align ourselves based on our innate values. We all want to be connected, accepted, appreciated, and loved. All of those things can come without the new cars and the pats on the back from MBWA bosses.

If you change your mind, I’ll change mine, and we’ll see where this all goes. =)

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Jimmy (6) (@jimmy) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@chadvice, Appreciate you sharing your POV. The idea is to get people to speak their hearts about the changing winds as far the socio-economic weather is concerned :)
I firmly believe that living in the world would be a lot less of a threat and more of a joyful experience soon provided we all start appreciating the value of each moment; not take it for granted. There is not much effort involved in order to realise that true bliss if we really want to see a better change :)

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vishnu (1,235) (@vizznou) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

however important you make it to be. that said, its not that simple. i dont even know how much conviction and pure badassery you’ll need to stand out of a crowd and decide these things dont mean success and happiness to You. ive seen people do that – and they are either called Men, or mad men, depending upon what else they did with their lives.

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phoebe (97) (@cornietzsche) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

Money and fame are widely considered as markers of ‘success’, because we live in a society which values (or at least, has been conditioned to value) such concepts. I think more people accept now that they’re not gateways to happiness, however, and I think the pursuit of happiness is much more elusive than achieving ‘success’. Happiness is an individual, subjective thing, and if the expectations and ‘definitions’ of what WILL make you happy and what WILL make you successful were removed from society, people would be freed greatly (then again, remove nearly any aspect of how society works and people would be more ‘free’, non?).
Happiness and success are completely different, obviously, too. While there is often a correlation, one does not guarantee the other: an individual may find everything they require to be happy living homeless, but may demand more from their life in way of personal success (which could come in the form of recognition of a particular talent, etc). Similarly, someone who has found greatest success in pursuit of their aspirations and goals, may not be happy or content within themselves. I think success is easier to quantify than happiness: money and fame are associated with success because they are what we’ve been conditioned to denote as success. Success is the fulfillment of aspiration, whatever that aspiration may be. Whereas happiness is harder to pinpoint and maybe even capture. I think you find success; happiness finds you.

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Jeremy (207)C (@chadvice) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@cornietzsche, I like your point. What you were saying reminds me of how, in medieval times for instance, it was a sign of wealth, status, and even good health to be fat. When the rest of the world was starving, those who were eating were the ones who were “successful.” But, in the last century the standard of living had risen so high that this was no longer an issue, and money and expensive things became the sign of wealth, success, and ultimately happiness (even more aggravated by the fact that most UNHAPPINESS is attributed to money).

I think that this century will be one where we move away from money and status as the tell tale signs of success and happiness, and instead seek more esoteric, personal, and subjective markers. Especially since more and more people are getting online and uploading their entire lives to the internet. Thoughts?

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daveb (119) (@daveb) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@chadvice, I was just talking about that with my mom on a long car ride last night. She’s 70 and is a school librarian, and she was talking about what a rip-off college has turned into, how unfair it is that kids are expected (and pushed) by guidance counselors to put themselves into six figures of debt to get a job that won’t pay it off.

I was kind of surprised . . . I mean my mom was all about getting an education and scholarships when I was in high school, but I went to a private college in the mid-90’s and my tuition was, you know, reasonable. I paid it off in 5 years.

anyway what we decided was that all the parents who have crappy jobs and aren’t fulfilled by “money and expensive things” (my mom and dad don’t have much of either are both very happy and content gardening, fishing, and being grandparents) are actually setting a great example, because they’re the ones who are showing all you kids that you need to find a better way.

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Jimmy (6) (@jimmy) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@cornietzsche, Rightly said: Money and fame are markers of success. But it is quite disappointing and painful to see how people can differentiate between each other and choose to or not to favor, treat fairly or unfairly, nicely or unpleasantly on the basis of their financial and social stance (quantified). I personally identify the cause as an inability of the “modern man” to handle a balance between the socio-economic changes in the modern society’s metamorphosis and along its side transformed psyco-spiritual perceptions. The independence brought about by the socio-economic freedom resulted into evoking a lot more ego-centric man over the years. Who started identifying him/herself with more materialistic existence and less spiritual. Happiness is truly spiritual although it has mainly been associated with favorable outcomes, results, achievements, so-called success all mainly associated with materialism. Success can be considered spiritual too provided the outcomes are not based solely on an underlying obsession to be superlative over others and with distinctive materialistic achievements. Its more about pushing your own personal boundaries and achieving favourable results for benefit of the own and/or the mankind.

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