Alain de Botton questions our commonly accepted notions of success, and provides one of the best definitions of a snob
that I've heard in a while.
Thing about a successful life is, a lot of the time, our ideas of what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They are sucked in from other people...
And we also suck in messages from everything from the television, to advertising, to marketing, etc. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. When we're told that banking is a very respectable profession a lot of us want to go into banking. When banking is no longer so respectable, we lose interest in banking. We are highly open to suggestion.
A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success
(TED Video link with transcript).