I’ve never been able to look at the typical American vision of “success” as anything close to normal. It’s basically a prescription to work forever, and no matter how much you’re doing, you’re always expected to do even more. And for most people, since most jobs are low to mid level positions, moving up won’t happen that often anyway. And it also makes very little sense to work hard in high school so you can work hard in college so you can work hard at a job so you can get an even more difficult job and work even harder. And for what? Money? There’s a fairly low threshold after which money doesn’t contribute to happiness anymore. It’s been studied, and the current American national average for maximized happiness is about $75,000. Beyond that, you won’t actually be happier.
I doubt it’ll ever change, though. I expect certain evolutions might
occur, but if the American ideal involves hard work (which is a noble
endeavor in its own right, to a degree), arguing against it will only
lead to jeers of laziness. This is what happens whenever people suggest
that Americans need more than a 2 week vacation, for example. People
immediately retaliate that it’s a call for laziness. But really it’s a
recognition that life isn’t just about being an office drone. What’s
unfortunate is that those people, the ones who argue in favor of minimal
free time, probably really want extra free time too.
Found the above in a comment on this page.