It's strange how success is measured in this country. Most would agree that the markers point exclusively to either money or the things that money can buy. It doesn't even seem to matter how people acquire their wealth. As long as they've got it, they are perceived as being "successful."

Then my question is, "Successful at what - exactly?" Isn't there more to it than money alone? Or, shouldn't there be? Let's face it, as mad as it is, it takes a Bernie Madoff to turn a bundle of cash into something gross and disgraceful.

Sometimes we take accomplishments into consideration too. But even then success only seems to be credited if one's efforts have generated wealth. I find it odd that achievements, no matter how great, tend to garner less notice and respect when financial gains are not attached. What happened to getting an "A" for giving it a good old-fashioned college try? And why is the question never whether people are happy with their money or proud of their accomplishments? In my opinion, that is the only metric worth using. Otherwise, wouldn't it be better to not have money and be happy? I don't know, I'm just saying....

Meanwhile, there is a whole happiness industry out there in full swing studying what makes people happy. We know the answer. It's not money, (unless it's under 60,000 a year - see Daniel Kahneman on Ted.com). The results are in and it's the same story every time. So why don't we start changing the definition of success and start adding new measurements to determine how being successful can also mean being happy at the same time, without it blindly necessitating being rich? It's just a question, but it could change our whole sensibility surrounding work and life.

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