Monday, October 19, 2009


UCLA coach and English professor, John Wooden, explains his definition of success:

"Peace of mind that comes from doing the best you are capable of," means a lot more with some of the examples he gives near the end.

This video underlines the capriciousness of fate, despite of merit, and job snobbery, which is rampant in our society. Unless you're a celebrity, it's what you do that gives you status.

My masters' advisor, Dr. Bryan Farha, is quoted by Gerald Corey about people focusing on doing to avoid the experience of being. He never mentioned it in the classes I had with him (probably because we students mentioned the reference ourselves), but you will find him in the chapter of existential therapy of Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychology (at least in the sixth and seventh editions). Anyway, this idea can be also applied to our society - we avoid facing ourselves through our works. Granted, it's not as bad as building monuments using slave labor, but in the United States especially, value in the corporate world means more than value in things like teaching and other pursuits. And it has been that way for a few centuries, at least, as evidenced by the Booker T. Washington quote: "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."

Though, in a way, several people have now given the poet the same status as the farmer, based on earnings, and not for the better. It seems to me that we now over-value things that are actually parasitical to our society, while dismissing that which truly feeds body and soul. Everybody wants luxury; some even to the neglect of the necessities.

Greatest part of this talk is stressing the part that we should make sure our ideas of success are truly our own. Also when he says that the nightmare part is that scaring people is best way to get work out of them. My next post will tackle that with some research.

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