Success

Réussite

  • achievable, people, near
  • Creativity, Innovation, Invention
  • grades, money
  • happiness, comfort
  • happiness, glory, money
  • happiness, knowledge, love
  • happiness, money, family, career
  • Happy, Exploration, Learning
  • happy, yay!
  • hard-work, reward, perseverance
  • Hard-work, self-fullfilment, happiness
  • Hard work, dedication
  • Hardwork, Perseverance
  • love, happiness
  • me, black excellence
  • Money, Career, Children
  • money, fame
  • money, happiness, career
  • money, job, pride
  • money, power, career
  • respect, money, power
  • Self-Fulfillment, Contentment, Satisfaction
  • Argent, Famille
  • Bonheur, argent
  • Bonheur, Démocratie (la vraie), Invention du caleçon
  • Content, études
  • Diplôme,Echelle sociale
  • échec, victoire, jeu de carte
  • étude, fierté
  • Ecole, Diplôme, Seul
  • Enseirb-matmeca, MIT, joie
  • études, travail, argent
  • Finir, Victoire
  • motivation, discipline, optimisme
  • motivation, travail, épanouissement
  • objectif, apogée, désir
  • sacrifice, joie
  • Scolaire, Reconnaissance
  • Succès, accomplissement, richesse
  • succès, travail, persévérance,
  • Travail, Amis

Discussion

Many of the American students associate success with money, while most of the French students associate success with studies.
Everyone associates success with happiness.
I think that the French students associate studies with success because they believe that without doing well in school (and gaining a diploma), companies will not hire you. However, in the US, people think that working hard is enough, because there are many success stories about people who succeed without graduating.
Why do you think that studying and earning a diploma as the most important and most necessary for accomplishing success?

Both largely view money and happiness as success. It seems that both view success (money, power, studies, happiness) positively.
Both associate it with motivation, work and perseverance, thus they believe you have to work hard to achieve success.
Is getting good grades in school and university largely viewed as the way to success?

These two sides have very similar responses, both associate hard work and dedication with success and view things like happiness and money as traits of successful people. While some Americans talked about grades and diplomas, it seemed much more common on the French side. Similarly, money was a much more common response to the Americans. I think Americans view getting a diploma as a way to help them succeed (in their future career, etc), and they view the final end goal as having a good job that pays well. I wonder, do the French students feel the same way, or do they view getting the diploma itself as an end goal for success?

The French were more likely to associate success with education than the Americans were. Americans mentioned happiness a lot. Both Americans and French mentioned hard work and perseverance.
American people celebrate athletes, actors, and musicians a lot more than they celebrate educated people which is why the French may have linked education to success more.
Is there a big celebrity culture in France like there is the US?

Je pense que les réponses Américaines sont plutôt liées à tous ce qui est matériel (argent, voiture, job, power …).
Est-il justifiable ?

Selon moi, en France, l’association de la réussite aux études et à l’obtention de diplômes vient essentiellement de notre éducation, mais aussi d’un changement de point de vue vis-à-vis de la carrière professionnelle. Nous avons vus, pour la plupart, nos parents travailler dur pour gagner suffisamment d’argent pour pouvoir offrir des études à leurs enfants pour qu’ils aient à la fin le métier qu’ils veulent exercer (quitte à devoir sacrifier certaines choses au quotidien).
L’obtention d’un diplôme vient en quelque sorte récompenser les efforts des parents, qui ne veulent pas forcément que leurs enfants aient à travailler aussi dur qu’eux par la suite, surtout dans un monde offrant de plus en plus de possibilités. Et en général, en France du moins, on voit les postes haut-placés qui offriraient un bon mode de vie comme nécessitant une formation conséquente derrière, donc des études et des diplômes. D’ailleurs, chez nous, il est rare d’entendre parler de “success stories” où des gens ont réussi leur vie en partant de rien, contrairement aux USA.
Bien que j’ai pris l’exemple de la France par rapport à la discussion, j’imagine que cette manière de penser se retrouve facilement ailleurs, notamment aux USA, non ?

chaf.madkour: I think that that is a very interesting observation. Maybe it has to do with the capitalist view in which people work to get money to be able to buy things. What do you think?

Dtrecu and Chaf.madkour:
I find that very interesting. It is definitely true that many people think of success in the USA as mainly materialistic things. However with the capitalist way of our country it is hard to view success as anything other than buying power. I think that we tend to take education for granted in the USA because of how expensive it is for many to go to college and higher education. This is definitely one of the reasons why you hear about “starting from nothing” stories in the USA often.

How do you think we could change our way of viewing success as just materialistic?

Pour changer sa vision du succès, je ne pense pas qu’il y aie de “méthode” à proprement parler. Comme ça dépend de chacun, de l’éducation qu’on a reçu, du mode de vie qu’on a, de la culture du pays dans lequel on vit, et bien d’autres choses encore, on en arrive presque à la philosophie pour le coup. Dans tous les cas, j’imagine que tout dépend de ce que l’on veut obtenir à la fin (beaucoup d’argent, une belle maison, un tour du monde, une entreprise qui tourne bien…).

Pour labradoodle & l’homme noir :
je crois que la solution pour cela est une éducation équilibrée et qui apprend ces valeurs.
comme a dit “l’homme noir”, le coût de vie et les frais de scolarité aussi élevées aux Etats-Unis, ainsi que le système économique capitaliste poussent à adopter ce genres d’idées. Alors, pour résoudre ce problème, il faut commencer des causes.
Le plus important est d’apprendre aux générations à venir que le succès et bonheurs résident dans les valeurs et les actions qu’on adoptent et non pas, forcément, dans les choses matériels. Cet apprentissage est partagé entre l’école et la maison. =D

dtrecu: I find it interesting that you said, “tout dépend de ce que l’on veut obtenir à la fin”. I think success is often defined as what a person has achieved holistically looking back on their life, but in my opinion success is not just what a person is left with in their dying moments, but rather what a person has been able to do throughout their life, how happy they were at each stage, and whether they had a positive effect on the world overall. However, I think most people in America would define it simply by what material goods or social status someone has amassed in their lifetime.
How much do you think happiness or having a generally positive impact on those around you factors into people’s views of success in France?

I do not necessarily equate success with possessions and most people that I know do not equate success with possessions either. Although possessions and money can be impressive. Most people I know associate success with having a good career and the things you have done or accomplished during the career.

dtrecu: I also find what you said about people wanting materialistic things in the end is interesting because I feel like many Americans are starting to go away from this sentiment. I think that a lot of people view success as what they have accomplished in their lives and what effect they have had on other people. However when talking about one’s career, I feel the easiest way to show that you have accomplished alot is by buying materialistic things that depict how successful one really is. Do you think that it is detrimental for a society to view materialistic things as success if their society values these things? Should the society as a whole change the way they view success (i. e. USA)?

l’homme moir, I think that you’re right, for me at least, having nice things like a nice car and a big house (or other material possessions) are signs that you probably are successful, but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t successful if you don’t. The important things are more holistic and are harder to measure– like how happy you are with your life and what good you’ve done in the world. Having a lot of money can often be an indicator that this is true. I think that it can be a little dangerous to think this way though, because you don’t want to assume the opposite– that someone without a lot of money is not successful.

Additionally, I agree with chaf.madkour that it might be a good idea to start reinforcing the idea that having material wealth is not equivalent to success in the home and the school. It would probably lead to a more understanding and equal-minded society, which I think would be a good change.

I agree with solshine that you can be successful without material possessions. I also think that the opposite is true, in fact sometimes people buy things because they are unhappy. For me, success is more about happiness than about possessions or career or any of the other things.

But having a lot of money usually indicates that you are doing well in your field and if you are passionate about what you do then you’re probably happy as well. So they’re all connected.

Jessica, l’homme noir: Je me suis rendu compte que j’avais mal terminé mon commentaire vis-à-vis de “ce que l’on veut obtenir à la fin”, car je n’ai pris que des exemples très matérialistes comme la maison ou de l’argent. J’ai oublié de citer des éléments comme une famille unie ou dont les besoins sont pleinement satisfaits, une belle carrière professionnelle aussi, comme l’a cité frenchisinteresting, ou encore, même si là on se tourne plus vers de l’humain, pouvoir se remémorer les grands moments de sa vie sans avoir de regrets quelconques. Au final, il n’y a pas de réelle “définition” du succès, chacun ayant sa propre vision de ce qu’il considère réussi et qui le comble de bonheur ou de satisfaction, et c’est juste ça qui compte au final. Même si ça implique une certaine aisance au niveau matériel, comme par exemple une maison avec jardin et piscine pour que les enfants s’amusent.
En ce qui concerne la France, je pense (mais ce n’est que mon avis) que la mentalité là-dessus est à peu près la même qu’aux USA, vu que dans la culture populaire, l’image cliché de la belle maison de banlieue pour la famille, bien aménagée, avec le jardin et la piscine est quand même assez ancrée, du fait des nombreux films ou séries américaines que nous regardons régulièrement. Personnellement, je ne me vois absolument pas dans ce mode de vie là, du moins pour le moment. Je préfère encore me contenter du minimum pour être bien, confortable, avec un poste qui me plaît même si ce n’est pas forcément bien payé, plutôt que d’en avoir trop, au point de ne plus savoir quoi en faire… On a le temps de changer d’avis là-dessus au cours de la vie de toute façon. :)

@jessica : je partage pleinement ton opinion, le bonheur et la joie de vivre participent fortement dans la réussite de l’être humain et comme on dit souvent : “La réussite n’est souvent qu’une conséquence du bonheur” ;)

Both cultures associate family with good things. However, the French believe family is essential.
I think the French believe the family is an essential part of life because it is a collective culture.
Why do you believe family is essential, in contrast to the U. S. students who might believe it as well but did not think about writing it down?

Students from both France and America make the same associations when thinking of family and the lists are nearly identical except for a few words that are specific to the particular student (and as such are not the most important when considering the general opinion).
It is likely that the positive feelings that people have towards family are universal, and thus would by shared by any culture.
Would you say that ones relationship with their family plays an important role in the person they become? Have you met anyone from a different culture, particularly someone who does not come from any Western culture, who has a different sort of relationship with their family?