Success in the capitalism society is often defined as one who manage to captivate through material possessions and titles. This is not surprising in the first place. Capitalism is often closely associated with economic growth and has often been criticized for its underlying focus on profits and how these ultimately lead to income inequality where the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.
Take external multinational corporation for instance. How many times do we see titles being inflated to “AVP” or “Managing Director” when we meet with external customers or suppliers? At the very least, you would see the title “Managers” being printed on the namecard. This is good for defining success because you want to exercise your authority by having these powerful titles.
The same goes when a recruiter asks for your current title at work and when it doesn’t sound as impressive as the title at the next potential job, it might be difficult to get them. For some reason, these are the pretty hollow things that are usually overrated.
In our highly conceptualized society, luxury cars, condominium, credit cards and results lean early on what success might look like. Different cultures may represent variations in vocational perception of what success is but the general idea of bigger home, thicker wallet and fast cars are becoming one of tattered path to success.
Last week, one of channel 8 show broadcasting Jamie Chua personal luxury home and her famous collection of Hermes Birkin handbags have hit quite a bit of talking points there. Even my mum and wife were there to watch them. The general idea that I get from the public is the girls are seeing her as some sort of role model, a person that defines what “success” is with all the famous collection of luxury items one must have when you get to her age. The society is obviously mesmerized by the different definition of success they are looking for and it can be harmful at times. We can blame the media for so relentlessly corrupting us into believing that success requires us to act or behave in a certain way and own things so rare that only one of those you can own it. I like to think that people are old and educated enough to think well enough for themselves to decipher the code between the unconventional meaning of success.
As a society, we obviously need a better financially less dependent measures of success. Perhaps, we can start by defining success that works for the collective. A good example would be the collective voluntary assistance reaction to the recent Nepal earthquake. We give and provide helping hands to one another in all forms of assistance to the needy and casualties in Nepal. At some point, we need to break out from the formal structures of what success really is that rule over our head. We need to show sufficient respect to the aunties that clean our roads, the janitor that cleans out toilets and the less proficient professions that make out society a complete world to live in.
I count my blessings to be able to have them around.
How do you see or define success? What is success means to you?