Several months ago I had a peculiar conversation with an acquaintance of mine. It was about success and how success should be defined. This guy is miserable in his job yet sees no quick way out. He makes a very respectable salary yet struggles to pay for his oversized house and things he rarely uses. [In other words, his house and things own him.] He sees other people’s failings, however unrelated to his life as personal success. His logic is so corrupted that reasonableness only brings a snort of derision followed by straw man arguments and a recitation of carefully rehearsed talking points obtained from talk radio and cable news. For the most part, he sticks close to home and despises anything that could be deemed – foreign – no matter how effective it is. He sees compromise as weakness, views intellectualism with scorn and introspection with contempt. He has a xenophobic, willfully ignorant and self-righteous perspective. He would rather win than be right. Forethought and planning – as distinguished from scheming – are seen to only get in the way of a reactionary decisiveness. In other words, he serves a wonderful purpose – he is an almost perfect anti-compass – and I like him for that! I also like him because he is articulate so long as truth and fact are not on the table, sometimes funny in an ironic sort of way and interesting in that he can hear “truthy” sounding taking points from people that think as he does and make them his without any contemplation of his own.But I digress: This conversation came about because he overheard a discussion I was having with another person regarding writing, photography, travel and our plans for the future. Apparently, it is his opinion it is impossible to be a “successful” in any way unless success results in material gain. In other words, a person working for pleasure or hoping to share a vision is a failure unless there is money to be made. Starting something without a profit motive is apparently for suckers. Ironically he works for a government agency. I just don’t get it. I have learned, through trial and error sometimes that happiness is really the true measure of success. It is sad but the world is full of people that define their personal success through the eyes of others. Others see success in only material things. The way I look at it; He who DIES with the most toys, is dead and the true measure of success is in fulfilling your dreams and helping others along the way.Am I wrong? I would love to hear some opinions.