Daily Archives: December 7, 2009

Success: what does culture have to do with it?

When I went to the Miami Bal Harbour Mall for a business lunch-meeting a week ago, I knew I entered another world.  And not because of the high couture brands that I saw there — but because of the amount of “plastic” that surrounded me.  Not “plastic” as in credit cards, but “plastic” as in “plastic” people, both women and men.

Those of us without any plastic surgery were in minority in that restaurant.  And since I’ve just recently moved to Miami from Russia — another place on the planet where having plastic surgery often means “you’ve made it” — it got me thinking.  What defines our understanding of success?  What part of our definition of it comes from us as individuals and what part comes from the culture that surrounds us?

When I coach my clients we always look at the set of values that each client holds dear to him/her.  And success as a value comes strongly in almost all of them.  Yet the definitions of it vary widely from client to client.  For some success might be a few billions in the bank, for others — a happy family, for yet others — fame, for … we can go on and on.

So what determines our definitions of success?

I think it’s a combination — a combination that came about as a result of blending our family culture, the culture of the place where we grew up, the culture of the place where we live, the culture of the place where we work, and the culture of people who surround us.  As we go through our lives, some of these influences change, some go away, and others come in.  And our definition of success changes with them.

What do you think?

People who enjoyed this post also read:

Trailing and not failing: How our relationships can sustain us i expatriation?

Three reasons to become an expatriate

A different take on expatriate motivation

Copyright © 2009 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!