TED Conversations

Anita Doron

filmmaker - curator of magic unrealism,


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Wealth and power have been our conventional measures of success. What definition will better sustain us now and how can we move into it?

The other day, my mother mentioned that she hasn't accomplished anything in her life. (She's a forest and machine engineer who hasn't found a suitable job since immigrating from the Soviet Union 20 years ago) It broke my heart to hear this. We live in a world that makes people value themselves more and more singularly by their career highs and financial prowess.

The conventional model of success has proven to be destructive, separating and pitting us against each other in competition.

What would be a better definition of accomplishment for us and how could we collectively shift toward embracing this?


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    May 17 2011: Someone once said that I was the "richest poor person" that they knew. It was the biggest compliment I've ever received in my life. The idea of success is all in one's attitude - about life. Success is a concept. It's definition is what ever idea you buy into. Each individual defines their own success. Success has nothing to do with money and everything to do with how one lives their life. The way to recognize this and change this thought pattern in society is to consciously and constantly start conversations like the one you did by asking your question.

    When I was really young, I thought that by the age I am now my life would be so completely different than it is. By that metric, I am completely unsuccessful and an utter failure. Instead, my life has been full of experiences that I could not have imagined. And in that I have been successful.

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