Do you know someone rich and famous? Is that person confident, popular, and joyful all of the time—the epitome of mainstream success? Or, on the other hand, is the person stressed, having second thoughts about his life choices, and unsure about the meaning of his life? I am willing to bet that it is the second one. Mainstream marketing and media have effectively brainwashed our society into accepting a false, even potentially dangerous definition of success. Marketers want us to believe that having lots of money, living in a big house, and owning all of the latest cars, fashions, and technology is the key to happiness, and hence, success. This overstated, falsely advertised myth is hardly ever the case in real life. True success requires respect, appreciation, integrity, and patience—all of which are traits that by human nature are genuinely difficult to attain—especially in the face of modern marketers who relentlessly deceive us, control our thoughts, and usurp our independence in order to increase their bottom line.
According to the entries on the word “success” on dictionary.com, there are several definitions of “success.” The first definition is “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.” This definition focuses on traits of human nature such as dedication to becoming the best person one can be. The focus is on internal rather than external goals. The second seems to reinforce the definition marketers want us to believe about success, “the attainment of wealth, position, honors.”
There are thousands of quotations about success written by inventors, politicians, philosophers, and authors throughout the ages. In her article “100 Motivational Quotes that Will...
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...uffington Post.com. 17 Sept 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lolly-daskal-/100-motivational-quotes-t_b_4505356.html
Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition, 1996
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "What Is Success." Yuni.com. Yuni Library, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. http://www.yuni.com/library/docs/651.html
FitzPatrick, Bill. "Action Principles." Success.org. American Success Institute. 17 Sept 2014 http://www.success.org/
Lincoln, Abraham. "Notes for a Law Lecture." Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2. 1809‐1865.. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Long, Tony. "You Say You Want a Revolution?" [Podcast entry] The Luddite. 17 Sept 2014. Wired.com. 12 Dec 2006 http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,71096-0.html
Miller, William. Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2007.
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