Why do Americans view that success in life usually only means career-wise?
Not all Amercians think so but careers are a big part of what you spend your life doing in America, I think you can be successful in America if you can use your career to get you everything that you want in life. I know that I did, I had no problem changing from a higher paying career to a career that gives me the most out of life.
In America, our identity is so wrapped up in our jobs. If you meet someone and say "Tell me abut yourself", usually they'll tell you what they do for a living. I've noticed in group settings that people tend to cluster with other people who have a similar job or career and talk about work. Our self-esteem is dependent on how prestigious our jobs are. A lawyer is considered more successful than a schoolteacher, even though a teacher's job is more vital.
I think it's all in our cultural upbringing. We're taught from when we are young children to work hard and study so we can get good jobs when we grown up. That was the only goal I can remember being taught as a kid...To get a good job when I grew up. I can't recall anyone ever telling me to become an activist when I got older and help other people. Just to get a good job.
Good question, When you find the answer to that question let me know.
We are motivated here in America to succeed financially and we have had pretty much the freedom to pursue this endeavor. But I have never seem a single person who is on their death bed say I wish I had worked harder.
As one who lived both in and outside US, I would say it is materialism.
I see American individuals working long hours in corporate careers, trying hard for their corporations to increase their profit margins.
American culture preaches hard work is sacred. Keeping busy is good.
They do this even if some else, like corporations benefit more than them. They don't have enough sleep and don't spend enough time with their family or spend time on spiritual and social needs. Americans spend less time on vacation then others.
It seem the American Christmases appear to be very materialistic.
Contrast these with other cultures. Others spend more time with spiritual and social activities including family. Hard work is applicable only if there are needs or if it beneficial to them They have less stress and have better sleep habits and also have healthier diets. Consequently they have less problems with obesity.
Some of these cultures intentionally restricts themselves from being more wealthy or materialistic. Christmas has more emphasis in spiritual areas such as the birth of Jesus and not much about gift-giving
I am not judging American or others. These are purely based on observations and there is no wrong or right situation. Every culture is free to make their choice.
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