In search of – success
We all want to be successful, but what is success? Is success having lots of money? Would winning the lottery make you feel successful? They say money doesn’t buy happiness, (but I might risk it). People appear to be happiest when they are doing something that they are good at. Is that success?
Some jobs are just soul destroying, you simply can’t be good at them. It would make people happier though, if even the most mundane job could have the opportunity to be successful. The guy who picks up litter, sweeps the supermarket car park and collects shopping trolleys has a boring job. If he had some say in how the car park was maintained would that make for success? Maybe if there was flowers and plants he could look after too? If he could be proud to have the cleanest and best looked after car park in the neighbourhood. He might feel successful?
People who don’t have a job find it hard to feel successful, society scorns them. They feel like they are a failure and the longer they go without having a job the worse it gets. Maybe, we need more than a job to feel successful? Maybe, we need to feel that we are good at other things besides our jobs. If we have a hobby or interest that we are good at that would help. If we are good at relationships, good at being a parent, good at being a friend. Wouldn’t these things make us feel successful?
It does seem that being good at things help us feel successful, but it doesn’t seem enough by itself. I was watching the Last Night of the Proms, the other night and the singers and musicians had rapturous applause. They are paid for what they do, but it appeared that the audience recognition of their talent was more important. So being really good at what we do isn’t enough, being paid for it isn’t enough, we need recognition.
There is some recognition in society for some people. They get medals from the queen or awards. The recent Olympics showed the athletes getting medals as recognition of their success. I wonder though, if we as a society recognise what is important. I rarely see doctors and nurses getting the recognition that they deserve, although they get unreserved thanks and gratitude from their patients. Perhaps, a thank you from a patient is more important than a gong from some self important figurehead?
Would more recognition, in the form of awards, certificates, diplomas and even medals be the answer to making people feel more successful and motivating them to make society better. Maybe we need more awards in education, awards for voluntary work and some kind of award for acts of kindness. Maybe, we should all just say thanks, more.
I wrote another psychology blog today on a similar subject. How to improve your image is over on a zillion ideas. Why not pop over there and read that? Please comment if you have something to say or a question.