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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  • Jun 2 2011: Bhutan is making strides using a "Gross Domestic Happiness" scale - http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/gnhIndex/resultGNHIndex.aspx instead of Gross Domestic Product.

    So they ask things like "can you trust your neighbors?" and "how safe do you feel walking in your neighborhood after dark?" in addition to the "how much money do you make?"

    I guess first we need to define success well. Currently in the USA, we seem to define it clearly in just dollars. I'm old enough to have children in high school, and I remember a time when people who made less, but contributed more (teachers, fire fighters, etc.) were held in higher esteem than they seem to be now.

    Will local currencies like Ithaca Hours http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Hours help?

    Do we have good ways to get people to act locally?

    Maybe re=working the Bhutan questionnaire for your country / area is a first place to start. Start running the poll in your town/neighborhood.

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