I have looked through my writings to bring you certain things that have not been published yet, or republishing certain things that found themselves burried under a pile of unrelated material. This new encyclopedia runs from the phylosophical to the absurd…

This article was written on June 18, 2008 and it is aimed at teenagers.

yard·stick (yärdstk)

We explore here the yardstick by which all success is calculated in modern North American society.

Yardstick: a criterion, a standard for making a critical judgment.

Unlike the party game of limbo where the stick keeps going down as the contest continues the yardstick that measures the success competition keeps going up. In such a contest, nobody is eliminated and people continue to work really hard and consume their way to projecting an image of success through their appearance and material possessions.

After 9/11 Georges Bush told American to keep going on with their lives so that the American Dream must live on. Hanging by the seat of his pants, he was able to push back the current economical turmoil almost 7 years. Americans continue to consume their way to catastrophe as the bloated U.S. economy cannot survive without manic consumerism of useless crap made in China.

The Gross U.S. National Debt

As a teen you must accept that you have no control over this stick and you are in no way obligated to reach it. In fact it will probably start falling again very soon as the new successful people become those who have less but more importantly owe nothing.

When I was in 7th grade my biology teacher said that everyone is born with a purpose, whether it is to go to the moon or invent a new cake recipe. I was 13 and that concept seemed simple enough to grasp.

My ex husband’s yardstick for success was purchasing a Ferrari before he was 40. Loathed by our daughter and his girlfriend for being noisy, uncomfortable and stinky, he drove his vintage Ferrari all the way to his High School reunion. It is now officially for sale. I am curious as to what the next yardstick for success will be 🙂

Success today is closely linked to fame and fortune, which are two other marketable concepts that, on their own, mean absolutely nothing.

Define where your yardstick is and feel perfectly comfortable with moving it yourself as you grow older and your goals evolve. Don’t ever let other define your success (or lack thereof) based on external things such as your car, your house or your clothes.

A great book to read is Your Money or Your Life.