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Do you know someone rich and famous? Is he confident, popular, and joyful all of the time the height of mainstream success? Or, on the other hand, is he stressed, having second thoughts about his life choices, and unsure about the meaning of his life? I am willing to bet that it is the second one. Ordinary marketing and media have effectively brainwashed our society into accepting a false, even potentially dangerous definition of success. Marketers want us to believe that having lots of money, living in a big house, and owning all of the latest cars, fashions, and technology is the key to happiness, and hence, success. This overstated, falsely advertised myth is hardly ever the case in real life. True success requires respect, appreciation, integrity, and patience—all of which are traits that by human nature are genuinely difficult to attain—especially in the face of modern marketers who relentlessly deceive us, control our thoughts, and usurp our independence in order to increase their bottom line. Marketers want us to believe that living a selfish life, involving nothing but the pursuit of money and fame will bring success and happiness. Sadly, this is not true. Money is comparable to the often-mentioned new toy, fun while it is brand new and fresh, but terribly boring and unexciting after a few hours of play. Though money can buy accessibilities and comforts, one’s need much more than superficial luxuries to live a successful, well-balanced life. Money does make life easier, but it does not necessarily make it better. For example, money cannot make one knowledgeable or wise – that only comes with hard work and committed study. And money cannot help one forge a long-term relationship with husband or wife that only comes through love, commitment, and sacrifice. All the money in the world cannot teach respect or courtesy that only comes with a good up-bringing and a strong concern for the feelings of others. Can money give one the gift of patience or leadership...
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