Claim: De Botton discusses the ideas of failure and success. People are anxious about their position in society, no matter if they have high status or not. If they do not have it, they try to get it, when they obtain it, they worry about keeping their position high. We depend on our status. This dependence generates status anxiety. The question is what it means to be successful in our society? What is the most important now?
Analysis: Many individuals consider their occupation to be something that brings them their position and respect. Their profession in its turn depends on the payment and the business surroundings. De Botton proposes us a clear and interesting solution. The best way to find the answer to any questions is to apply to science, philosophy, history. For example, Greek thinkers were not so anxious about their status, intellect was more important for them. Really in modern society and in future, the problem of status anxiety can be solved if we just think about what makes us happy nowadays: status or something more relevant.
Thesis: The topic of meritocracy is touched upon in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. In Chapter 1 the author tells us about the Canadian hockey game. Gladwell tells us about the meritocracy in hockey system: the most gifted and hard-working are made a part of "an elite league" (Gladwell, 2008). The author wants to prove: hockey players’ success does not depend on something definite.
Claim: Gladwell explains the success of elite league members by interesting thing – most of them just are born early in the year. This fact proves that a person does not need much to become successful.