I admittedly ponder all things deep probably way too often. In fact, the most natural major in school for me probably would have been philosophy, but literature added a little pizzazz and ended up being a great choice.
In any case, I spent most of this week horizontal on my couch due to the dreaded flu. I got more than a good dose of daytime TV as a result. I rarely watch Oprah, if ever. She kind of just rubs me the wrong way, but I do admit that she can occasionally touch on things that are pretty good. One of those "things," as I discovered yesterday is Rabbi Shmuley. This man is incredibly dynamic and exciting to listen to. He often returns to a core message, which can be annoying on some level, but the message is a good one: "Much of the disintegration that has taken place in American society rests in a poor and rigid definition of success." He went on many tangents with this, some that I agreed with and others I didn't.
If you take a few minutes, though, and think about the larger implications of this statement, it's a terrible downward spiral to be stuck within. If you pigeonhole yourself within one definition of success, then you totally lose touch with your everyday little successes. On top of that, you become one miserable and terribly driven person (not that I can at all relate). For instance, most would look at their careers or schooling as their indicators of success. But, if you put your all into that, then you drain yourself for all other successes you should work on as well--family, self, etc.
So, the next time you hear someone babbling on about their degrees or what not, take a moment to drill them on the concept of success. Go ahead, be a good friend and do so.