What is your definition of success?

Success is a looming goal that can drive us, but also plague us. It can be defined in so many ways. Money, fame, happiness, many things can be considered hallmarks of success, but are we chasing the wrong things? Also, how does our culture define success? Do you think this might be driving us unconsiously?

Without a doubt, success is important. No one strives to fail. But this drive can sometimes create unhealthy life choices and lead us to prioritize the wrong things. In Alain de Botton TED talk, he exposes his struggle with success and some of the elements that may shape our choices.

Warm up

  • Name someone you consider successful?
  • What makes them successful? Money, fame, happiness?
  • Put the following elements in order of priority: happiness, family, work, relaxing, spouse, exercise, health
  • How is our relationship with success unhealthy?

The Video: TED A Kinder, Gentler, Philosophy of Success by Alain de Botton 

  • Divide the presentation into 5 min segments and do a Tell Back
    • First 5 min: What is snobbery according to Botton?
    • 5-10 min: What is meritocracy? How might it be destructive?
    • 10-15 min: What can literary tragedy teach us? Why does nature attract us?
  • If you have time, I would suggest doing a Mind Map of the main elements that contribute to our notion of success. Perhaps group them according to those that are good and bad.
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