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"To walk around asking, 'am I a success or a failure' is a silly question in the sense that the closest you can come to answer is to say, everyone is both a success and a failure."

This statement is disingenuous. Some people are much more successful at achieving desired outcomes (desired by themselves and/or others) than other people are. Who actually believes success is binary? The argument is a straw man. One can sometimes rightly conclude based on available evidence that one is unsuccessful most of the time in some area, and this can mean it's time to shift to new activities. Worrying about where along the continuum one's output lies is not a fruitless nor meaningless pursuit. It does have implications for one's life. It can also make people neurotic. Knowing that it's not helpful to worry excessively, especially when it comes at the cost of current growth, isn't always enough to change one's behavior. It's nonetheless a good start.

Joseph Horvath

Thanks for this quote Dr. Sutton. It is good advice. For those (like me) who could use some help in putting it into practice, I recommend reading
Awake at Work by M. Carroll (Shambala Press, 2004).


I agree with the statement: "everyone is a success AND a failure". But there is a cultural difference between the US and Europe. In US, it's extremely common to measure success in money, due to the meritocracy. In Europe, it is common as well, but not as polite to talk about money. In Europe we measure success in other ways (who you know, your education and what schools you went to, where you have worked, your title and not least, the way you dress). In Europe, corporate executives always dress in suits, always. In California, they almost never do. In Europe, we judge people after how they dress. And we almost never ask: "What have I learned?"

Dr. Otto VanDerWahl

Umm, is this referencing 'Big Ben' Roethlisberger by any chance? I mean the guy is somewhat intelligent, but he is after all a pro quarterback

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