5/8/13 questions and discussion
1-how much privacy do we need?3
2-is guilt more effective than shame?2
3-what is the definition of success?4/3
4-are guilt and shame as effective as compassion and empathy?4/3
what is the definition of success?
Andrea: I just graduated college. I'm looking into lots of different routes. What do I want to do with my life?
Tor: what was your major?
Andrea: plant science. Minor in soils, more interested in that.
Jon: what's your definition of success?
Andrea: success is being in a place of contentment, not worrying about everyday needs, higher on Maslow's Hierarchy.
Jon: was college a success?
Andrea: not by that definition! I did succeed at school. The new knowledge I gained made school a success.
Vince: adding tools is what school is about. That you definitely did.
Tor: I disagree with the emphasis on contentment. We never get anywhere unless we kick ourselves out of our comfort zones. Happiness is better as a goal because it still has a tinge of stress. Philosophers all try to know this. It's such a big deal in America. Buddha was big on contentment, that's why they don't get much done! The happiest moments of life are the ones in which we overcome the odds, sometimes unexpectedly, and receive the approval of others. The harder the challenge the greater the satisfaction. yesterday I was trying to convince a bunch of people to teach our kids in more skillful ways, so that the Bill Gates'/Steve Jobs' of the world won't have to quit school to succeed. Education experts told me this is incredibly hard to do. I see a light in teacher's eyes when I tell them to do this. The old idea of learning and success was the "student of life" -- Michaelangelo and DaVinci. It has to do with self-understanding.
Jon: can one succeed if they can't go to school?
Tor: yes but it's much harder.
Jon: [to Andrea] can you imagine yourself a success if your life doesn't allow you to work in your field(s) of interest?
Andrea: yes. There are other motivators in my life beyond what I studied in school, other things I find joy in.
Eric: success is an interesting thing. It changes as time goes by. My grandmother was born in 1917 on a farm in ND. Spoke only Norwegian until age 6. Lived through the depression. Her sister went to nursing school. She ended up working as a maid. Met grandpa, got married and had a family. Eventually got a job with Honeywell, retired in 1985. For her, success was not ending up a maid/"old maid". Success was to find a man to marry. When my mother was young she married at age 25. She'd gone to college, started a career, then married/had a family. The latter wasn't as important for her as it was for her mother. By the time my dad had grown (his dad was a jack of all trades), the whole idea was for him to go to college. I'm in a generation where we're not achieving as much as our parents did. In many ways I don't feel successful.
Jon: what would it take?
Eric: paying off my loans!
Tor: one doesn't need an education to be happy.
Vince: we're talking about societal expectations.
Jon: [to Andrea] do you consider any societal approval as part of success for you?
Andrea: that's where it gets cloudy. There are so many societal views I don't hold as valid: wealth, material items.
Jon: which social expectations might you support?
Andrea: I'm sure there are, can't think of any just now.
Vince: there's a trend focusing on strengths nowadays to get to where one needs to be.
Jon: have you used career counseling?
Andrea: a lot of it was based on atmosphere. Less formal more positive. Testing was fun but not fruitful.
Tor: studying a thing long enough guarantees knowing it.
Jon: are you a success?
Mike: I'm never satisfied. An anecdote; years ago I was dating a woman who's roommate was studying botany. That roommate got a PHD. Her father was a CPA. She was hired by Frank's Nursery corp. as a director of training. She stayed in touch over the years. She wound up inviting my female friend to visit. We found her living on the shores of Lake Sinclair in MI. She was happy and she was not working in her field of study. If one wakes up and decides "I'm a success" and a month later that certainty disappears, where does it go.? we' like to say we've arrived, but I suspect it's fleeting.
Tor: if we view it as a pursuit that never ends then happiness and success are likely. I'm happy.
Eric: I'm happier than I was a year ago. but I'm still not a success.
Tor: if you're happy you're a success!
Andrea: what would make you more successful?
Eric: I'm doing volunteer work running a rugby conference. This has involved many ups and downs, power politics. I still feel good about it.
Mike: have we arrived at consensus for a definition? Is it happiness, satiety?
Vince: success is happiness and finding good deals! I've overcome a lot of hurdles. But the lack of a definite route, a focus, feels like a barrier.
Mike: recently I spoke with some friends about a list someone had spotted: "the five things people say on their death bed". It's a list compiled by nurses and chaplains. One item on this list is I wish I had not worked so hard. Another; I wish I'd lived the life I wanted, instead of doing what I was told. Another was to have kept in touch with friends. I think I kind of followed these.
Art: sure. I am successful at compartmentalizing things. Achieving goals makes me successful. Ideas of success don't rule my life. I have a purpose that's not necessarily a goal. I'm happy with my choices.
Eric: this question is very similar to Art's old question: "if I'm so smart, why am I not rich?"
Art: I never wanted to be rich before. I want affluence now!
Jon: Don Quixote famously attacked windmills and was apparently very happy/successful with that until someone finally convinced him what he was doing was foolish. Maybe an important aspect of success is feeling certain about what we want, no matter how crazy.
Tor: the issue is one of whether one feels one's time spend with one's love is time well spent. Then is the effect we have on others (our eternity contribution). Not pursuing typical courses of action was to avoid being bossed.