Success- Skewed Values

I just finished watching The Apprentice. This is a show that I really enjoy watching, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are things about it that bother me.

The “win at any cost” attitude that seems to be so prevalent in society was pushed by Trump today as he said that “winning is everything.” I cannot support this as a general statement or motto, it is just not something that you can push in broad strokes.

When you go to war, winning is everything. If you are a professional athlete winning should be everything. But for the rest of us I am not so sure that it is necessary or appropriate. The reason being is I think that the definition is too narrow.

Success in life is quite subjective. Not all of us will be CEOs, most of us will not. Few will be leaders of industry, fabulously wealthy or incredibly famous. But the message that seems to be pumped out and pushed is that if you are not one or all of these things you have not succeeded. I find that to be less than satisfying.

When I have expressed this sentiment in the past some people have accused me of being soft, of being weak, 0f being a loser who wants to lower the bar. I don’t mind those thoughts because I do not allow anyone else to define me. I define myself and I teach my children to do the same.

The most important thing a person can do is be able to look at themselves in the mirror and be happy with what they see. Money cannot buy self-respect. It is not a cliche, it is reality.

So the real question we need to ask is what is it that we require in life to be happy. What do we need to feel good about ourselves. There will always be people who are better, smarter, wealthier or have more of something, so what.

What do you need to sleep at night and be happy. It may be a 10,000 square foot mansion and a yacht, or it could be a dog, a sleeping bag and a starry sky. The trick is figuring it out for yourself.

If there is a hole in your heart, if your soul is battered and bruised there is one person that can fix that, and that is you. You have to find the resources to help you and then make use of them, it doesn’t matter unless you do it.

But the “win at any cost” mantra doesn’t provide any latitude for anything less and in a situation where there can only be a handful of winners it creates millions of losers and that is a poor formula for a healthy society.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous December 12, 2004 at 8:49 am

    Excellently written. I totally agree.


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