Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How do you measure 'success'?

  1. Apr 9, 2009 #1


    User Avatar

    In the UK we live in a society which insists that all that matters is education and economic output, while the value of 'true love', which comes to us all in our teens, is widely denied. As a result, we are left with a 'broken' society, where 50% of relationships fail and where personal greed seems the only force which motivates most people's lives. Sadly, the age of romantic love has been replaced by a spiritual desert, where few people talk about love and most of the talk is instead about money and sex and how to improve one's 'status' in society - a fanciful notion which presupposes that there will always be others who by comparison are deemed to be less 'successful' in life!

    I know little about sex education in schools, but I do know that the burden for change rests with our teachers and parents, who should give all the support that they can when they see our young falling in love - the most beautiful and most inspiring feeling known to man and one which would last a lifetime if given the chance.

    Contrary to all I was taught in school, my aim is just to be happy, which surely should be the same for us all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I am afraid that "true love" when you are just a teen, isn't realistic, it's really more hormones gone wild. Someone that young should not be thinking of running off into the sunset with anyone. I have to disagree that parents or teachers should encourage a crush when you should be focusing on school.
  4. Apr 10, 2009 #3


    User Avatar

    For the last 50 years in the UK teachers and parents have been forcing our children to be focused on education while blithely ignoring the importance of love, and this has led to 50% of relationships failing in later life, at great cost in terms of health and happiness for all those involved.

    I can assure you that almost every teenager experiences the power and the glory of true love and I find your denial of this simple truth incomprehensible. I also believe that being in love and engaging in courtship is probably the greatest enabler and spur to action we know, and thereby enhances the learning process.

    True love is often reluctant to show its face, for fear of rejection, also asks nothing for itself. Sadly it leaves us broken-hearted when it fails. The outcome is often a series of fleeting sexual encounters and broken relationships in later years, as we struggle to find the right partner for us based on attraction rather than love. Hence the bleak situation I have described, which according to recent research leaves my society in the UK way down the list in terms of human happiness compared to many, less prosperous societies, where the family bond is much stronger than ours.
  5. Apr 10, 2009 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please post the research stating that kids that get married in their teens leads to happier adults. Sounds like you've read one too many romance novels.
  6. Apr 10, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Nope, it doesn't, and you know that fully well.
    Nope, it isn't. Ever heard the theme of your standard love song?
  7. Apr 10, 2009 #6
    I think each adult takes into account many factors that enrich a successful lifestyle, whereas minors lack the experience to determine such. :smile:
  8. Apr 10, 2009 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This definitely sounds more like an alarmist piece about a "dangerous world" than any kind of unbiased scientific inquiry. Nev, what kind of evidence can you show to back up your view that society in the UK is "broken" (i.e. less effective in some means -- citizens are less happy, or commit more suicides, etc.) in a way that it was not in the past? I'm not a sociologist, but I believe these kinds of studies are their bread and butter, and have been done many times.

    - Warren
  9. Apr 10, 2009 #8


    User Avatar

    I am sorry if I have appeared alarmist in some of the views I have expressed on the physics forums. I regret they are based only on my own harsh experience of life and the people I have met over the years, together with bits and bobs of statistics I have heard on radio or television or gleaned from my local library.

    I don't doubt that most people's experience of life is far better than mine and as I am now in my 70th year and lack the means to investigate further the impact of feelings on health and behaviour, I will withdraw from further debate on the issues I have raised. Thanks anyway to those of you who have taken the trouble to read and respond to my views.
  10. Apr 10, 2009 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    I don't intend for you to withdraw from debate, so I apologize if my tone was a little too matter-of-fact.

    It's entirely possible that you're right, and your observations are spot-on, at least for your community.

    Interestingly, studies have also been done on nostalgia itself, and those studies indicate that a certain amount of "good old days" feelings are entirely normal. Most people erroneously feel that their succeeding generation is more unruly, or more criminal, or less moral, even when statistics on crime, etc. do not support those beliefs.

    There's one thing we can hopefully agree upon, though -- if you don't like where your community is going, you should seek out ways to change it. Perhaps some volunteer work with families struggling with poverty will help you to see the incredible good and love that are assuredly present in your own community.

    - Warren
  11. Apr 12, 2009 #10


    User Avatar

    Thank you so much for your kind response to my somewhat controversial views on the state of UK society, especially the pressures we place on our young. I agree that there are many caring people in every society around the world, and I suspect that we are all born with love in our hearts, until events outside our control conspire to change the way we feel. I would indeed like my society to change and have penned many letters to the 'establishment' and to the media to try to highlight the areas where I feel change needs to take place. Having said that, I am thankful that my society provides not only free health care, of which I have been a recipient a number of times, but also ensures that we all have enough money to keep body and soul together. Compared to the many people who endure terrible suffering in some troubled parts of the world, I am blessed indeed.
  12. Apr 12, 2009 #11
    ... :rolleyes:

    Divorce rate is 14 per 1,000 marriages

    One other:

    I am interested to know which are those countries.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  13. Apr 13, 2009 #12
    A beautiful bouquet Warren that expresses my sentiments as well, since I am a volunteer for underprivileged children and the elderly in need of tender care. I travel here, there, and everywhere. :wink:

    Thank you,
    Mars (a nickname given to me by a dear, kind hearted scientist)
  14. Apr 14, 2009 #13
    I personally measure success using both specific and more, shall we say philosophical terms - really two heads of the same coin.

    Where the latter is concerned, my (written) definition is:
    "Achieve my goals without having to compromise my integrity and principles in doing so".

    With regard to the more tangible former, I have written out in specific terms what I am aiming for each year in certain key areas of my life - namely:

    Health - physical (i.e. specific weight), mental (ex. "free from anxieties", "at peace with myself", "I have a quite, calm mind that stays focused effortlessly on my goals each day", etc), intellectual (ex. "I will read xyz books this year", "I will learn abc in the area of blah blah blah this year")

    Wealth - my net worth is XYZ and I earn abc in passive income each year

    Relationships - I am enjoying the nth year of my marriage and our relationship continues to grow stronger and stronger each year; I have very satisfying relationships with my family and friends; we see and/or talk to each other on the phone at least xyz times per week, month, etc.

    Spirituality - I am understanding and exploring my nonphysical side more and more each year/quarter/month/day (whatever you prefer); I am expressing the beauty and generosity of the creator more and more each year when I donate $xyz to abc organization, when I volunteer abc hours at blah blah blah organization, etc etc (note: if you are an atheist or agnostic, you can remove the "creator" part and put something like "my higher faculties" or whatever seems right for you, fits your life experiences, etc - this process can still be quite useful.....)

    That's how I do it! In this way, I have clearly defined goals, objectives, etc for each of the core areas which affect the quality of my life. As one once said "a goal that is not written down is just a wish" so I feel this is a great exercise and has really helped me over the years.

    I'd be curious to see how others do it - I may learn something interesting.....
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  15. Apr 14, 2009 #14

    The first priority is keeping my body and mind healthy.:smile:
  16. Apr 15, 2009 #15


    User Avatar

    If my memory serves me right, I believe the UK came 28th in the happiness stakes, but I don't know how many societies took part in the survey or which ones they were. I do know that another survey suggests that the UK's children are the most overweight and unhappiest children in Europe, with one in ten up to the age of 16 having a 'clinically recognised mental disorder'. It may be of interest that a British explorer was astonished by the warmth of the reception he had from a primitive tribe on the Amazon delta - an experience he never forgot. Where is the'warmth' in most people in the UK today?

    With regard to relationships in the UK, I suspect that the role of the female changed after the trauma of the Second World War, as more and more women entered the workplace. Statistics reveal that "the employment rate of working age men fell from 92% in 1971 to 79% in 2007, while the rate for working age women rose from 56% to 70%. Today, politicians in the UK even offer incentives for mothers of very young children to go out to work.

    It is understandable and right that females should be as 'independent' as males, but it seems to me that when early love fails they are now just as likely as men to find consolation in casual sex. I have met numerous young males who 'fell apart' when their mothers reluctantly left them behind and 'moved on' to another relationship. A mother's love is surely the rock upon which every happy family is built and it must be ineredibly hard for a mother in full-time employment to give all the love and attention her children need and deserve.

    Love is the greatest healer we know and I hope that Iove someday will fill every heart that is broken or frozen by greed.
  17. Apr 15, 2009 #16


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm sorry but unless you post links to valid studies backing up all of these "statistics" you are throwing around, I am going to have delete all of it as it amounts to misinformation. Please do not post again until you have backed up everything or wish to have your statistics deleted. We have to maintain a certain level of credibility here.
  18. Apr 15, 2009 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Sounds a lot like the concerns here in the US.

    As for divorce statistics - http://www.divorcerate.org/ - which cites some statistics from various institutions. Also has information for Canada, UK and Australia.

    Back in 2005-07-18, a USA Today mentioned:
    Some more stats from the US

    I'm sure there are similar statistics available for the UK.
  19. Apr 16, 2009 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    "Age of romantic love", my a**. Marriage for the sake of romantic love is a very recent concept. My own grandparents were married for over 50 years, and 'love' had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was a social transaction, as was the norm for people of their social stature at that point in history. They cheated on each other openly throughout.

    Second, lower marriage rates don't mean people fall in love less.
  20. Apr 16, 2009 #19
    Perhaps reading a recent scientific study might be helpful. :biggrin:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: How do you measure 'success'?
  1. How to be successful (Replies: 12)

  2. How do you think? (Replies: 29)