Fame, Fortune, Happiness

Did you ever play that old board game, “Careers”?

This game was devised by a sociologist, James Cooke Brown, and was first made and sold by Parker Brothers in 1955.  At the start of the game, each player decides and writes down his victory target which consists of collect points for fame, fortune or happiness.   Assuming at least 100 points (the original game used 60),  a capitalist player may choose a victory formula of say “fame=15; fortune= 70; happiness= 15”.  A narcissistic player may choose “fame= 60; fortune= 30; happiness= 10” but the player with the inner hippie might want “fame= 15; fortune= 5; happiness= 80”.  They then roll the dice and make their way around the game track, making career and life choices that help them reach their winning formula.  Some may want to choose high earning jobs, others an education and still others aspire to be beach bums – whatever works for them.

If we were to just take a moment to reflect on this concept, what might we say was the winning formula that we have actually chosen for our real lives?  What has been our combination of the three?  Which one has had our emphasis and which one have we allowed to starve in the darkness?

How does one decide?  Won’t it be great if I could be rich, famous and happy?  Even Linus knows what I mean….


If I am honest, I think I have always wanted a life formula of Fame= 20; Fortune= 30; Happiness= 50.


Did you achieve your target or has happiness given way to fortune or has fame (like winning the Nobel Prize for Science) been elusive?

What was your formula for success and how have you fared? Curious squirrels want to know.

16 thoughts on “Fame, Fortune, Happiness”

  1. I’ve never seen this game or heared about it, but I would very much like to play it. From a staunch conservative Thomasian point of view it could be summoned under the non-allowed sortilegia, ha !
    I have no idea about fortune (if this means money and all this), I do not care about fame (something I find wrong on many levels), happiness is something that may be discussable – so I would replace Fame & Fortune with “insight” or “enlightenment” – yes, that could fit the bill : 60% enlightenment, 40 % happiness – without the discussion what leads to what.
    Or, if this fits not in the game, I’d go with 100 % happiness, something that would equal enlightenment in all & totally, I guess.

    Sorry for me longish absence LGS, things happen, blogs stay … at least some bloggers … in a way this is also an aleatorial thing, isn’t it ? Sorry, I’m too tired right now to elaborate. Or make sense.
    Whatever it is, I am glad that you are still blogging.

  2. Mago,
    I really appreciate that you have been with me on my blogging experience almost from the very start. I hope things get better for you and you achieve your 100% happiness. Wishing you every blessing.

  3. Hi Harry,
    Good to meet you. Please don’t “settle” for happiness. It is probably the best thing to have. When I am asked what I would wish for if I had one wish, I would say “To die happy”. Cause to die happy must mean everything else that is of any importance worked out fine.

  4. To be completely honest Calvin, I never really thought about any of it. I knew at age 14-15 I wanted to go to sea with the USN. At age 13 I just started to write but without intent. The day before I turned 21 I for some reason unknown just went to an Army/Navy store and bought some camping gear–seriously i had no reason for doing that. The next day (July 28th, 1975) my 21st birthday I loaded everything into a rucksack and got a ride to the nearest intersection that would lead me to the interstate–I stuck my thumb out and was gone pretty much for the next 4 years.

    I had no plans.

    i don’t know to this day why i came back here but I did and soon enough I was a husband and father until the day 3 years later when i came home from work to an empty house, empty bank accounts and a note I still remember “vacuum the carpets so you can get your security deposit back.” I certainly did not plan that hot mess. Or the next 17 years of a fifth of liquor every night or that day being the last time I ever cried. (18 years sober now but still haven;t cried.)

    So throughout it all i wrote, mostly poetry but discarded it along the way as passing time amusement. Still no plans for fame. But I did become a certified master auto mechanic and ended up repairing police cars which was cool because i got to test drive them, and hanging art in a world class museum, and fixing pumps and generators in electric plants and water plants. Never planned any of that out but I did work for and at it all as i saw the jobs come up.

    Now married again, 28 years, never planned on that either, was a spur of the moment sort of thing that worked out well. I do have 3 adult children who i do not communicate with–at least not often and 2 grandchildren, the oldest 17 does not know much about me or tell me anything about her life, the youngest 3 usually tells me to “go sit down grandpa” *meh* Family I pick my friends but my family does too.

    So to answer you question in hindsight–I’ve put out 4 books of poetry, worked 50 years at some good and some horrid jobs, paid all my bills, accepted that most people in my face world can live with me or without me.

    So Fame–*meh* 2%
    Fortune–I never striven for it but we’re good at 10%
    The other 68% has been a life long search for spirituality that conforms with Truth as Truth knows itself to be.

    1 It ain’t a game
    2 planning seems antithetical to me/

  5. If only I could make up my mind then perhaps I might be able to achieve a little of something. I do like the sound of 100% happiness though. I don’t think I would have been very good at this game.

  6. I like a bit of fame so 20% a bit of fortune 20% and the rest happiness. Yeah if live was a game…..maybe it is sometimes you loose sometimes you win

  7. Mark,
    first of all, thanks for sharing openly about your life. It seems to me that “life goals” was not your focus. Instead, you lived for the moment and the point was the experience of the journey. I find that life outlook attractive and one that I naturally lean towards but sometimes I also wonder if I am just drifting without goals. And then I wonder if that’s not a bad thing. I guess I am still in the Wonder Years.

    Glad things are working out well with the missus. Hope you get to enjoy your family more especially your bossy grandkid.

  8. Scarlet,
    Hey……all of you are cheating and not following the rules about having a combination of goals of fame, fortune and happiness.

    I know, I know……rules are meant to be broken……the secret of happiness?

  9. Mahesh,
    Thank you for your honest and may I say, well balanced answer. Much more realistic and achievable than all my other “flower power” friends who claim they desire 100% happiness.

    Just think. 100% happiness but no fame or fortune. That means we get to die happy because we starved to death as we could not afford food and nobody even noticed. 🙂

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