According to Dr. Emma Seppala in the current issue of Spirituality and Health [July/august 2017],
"High achieving students (and high achievers generally) but into the idea that 'I am what I do.'
They think their value stems first and foremost from their productivity...You are a worthwhile human being if and only if you are successful, powerful, or wealthy or have reached a certain status."
With identity and productivity so intertwined, Dr. Seppala see the result leading to a lifelong quest to be more and more successful -- but never bringing deep fulfillment.
After challenging her class about the idea of "success," she asked them to identify the qualities of the most wonderful person they knew. Loving, caring, and present were the adjectives they described.
Shen then asked: "Isn't it the wonderful people, the generous, kind, and compassionate ones...who carry us through life? They are there when we have fallen, they love us when we don't love ourselves, they care when no one else does...It's the wonderful people who are the most successful and impactful influences on all our lives, and we at blessed to encounter them."