Note: This post is written by Daniela McVicker
Each decade and the generation that comes of age in that decade creates its own definition of success.
In many ways, the seventies was a transitional decade. It began when the anti-war sentiment was powerful in the country and when people were rejecting materialism in favor of social justice. However, by the end of the decade, things had shifted, and people felt differently about making money and obtaining material goods.
Have you ever wondered if you could have been a success in the seventies? Take a look and see! Here are seven keys to success for people in the seventies.
1. Athletic Talent
Many of the most famous people from the 1970s were successful athletes. These include Mark Spitz, Billie Jean King, Chris Everett, Muhammad Ali, and Hank Aaron.
The success of these professional and Olympic athletes inspired an entire generation of people to become active in sports. It also cemented athletic talent as a definite key to success.
2. Great Fashion Sense
In the seventies, whether you were spending an evening at a trendy nightclub, impressing your boss and coworkers in a staff meeting, or just going for a jog, you wanted to dress to impress. In fact, there were few professionals who didn’t keep a copy of the famous, how to dress yourself manual, Dress for Success, handy.
This book was considered to be the guideline to dressing for dates, work, and casual fun. While much of the advice in the book has gone out of favor, the book is credited with teaching people to match their accessories with their socks and shoes.
3. A Killer Physique
Imagine looking at the help wanted ads today and seeing the following:
Receptionist needed. Slim, blond preferred. Don’t apply if overweight.
Bicycle messengers needed, height weight proportionate. Must have a ‘beach physique’
In the seventies, job advertisements that dictated physical appearance requirements were quite common. In fact, there were entire industries, such as the airline industry, where people could be excluded for weighing too much or being deemed unattractive.
Of course, searching for a job wasn’t the only situation in which strong emphasis was placed on being attractive. Commercial advertisements, TV shows, and magazines all focused quite strongly on the importance of being beautiful.
4. Being in Tune with Oneself
In the seventies, it became more and more popular to dedicate time and effort to self-care. People began taking up yoga, visiting massage therapists, spending time at resort spas, and flocking to places like Hot Springs, AK and Tempe, AZ to enjoy vacations spent finding both physical and spiritual renewal.
It was believed that the more in tune with yourself and centered you were, the more successful you could become. In the same vein, being able to engage in these activities was also seen as a sign of success.
5. The Ability to Make Friends with Others
I’m Okay, You’re Okay, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, all of these are self help books that were extremely popular in the 1970s. Each one of these books had one thing in common. They all forwarded the idea that getting along with others and developing a likable personality was key to becoming a successful business person, family member, spouse, and friend.
The result of this was that leaders began developing a more familiar, less authoritarian style of leadership. Today, many successful business leaders still adopt that style of leadership.
6. A Clean Cut Lifestyle
If you ever have the chance to look at resume written in the seventies, there is a good chance that you will see statements written specifically for the purpose of demonstrating that the candidate was of high moral character.
For example, a single woman looking for a job would never want to give the appearance that she spent time in Discos or dated frequently. Because of this, she would add entries to her resume that made her look as if she lived as pure a life as possible. This might include noting that she is a Sunday school teacher, a member of knitters guild, and that she lived at home.
Although they weren’t as strict, there were certain moral standards applied to men as well. Imagine if the employers of the seventies had access to something like Facebook 40 years ago!
7. A Willingness to Accept Different Lifestyles and New Social Norms
The sixties may have been a revolutionary decade where hippies and other groups spent their time sending out messages of peace, civil rights, gender equality, and acceptance, but it was the seventies when these ideas began reaching the mainstream.
Take the popular show ‘All in The Family’. The show centered around the patriarch of the family, Archie Bunker. Archie had extremely bigoted ideas about members of different races and religions, and about women’s rights. However, the show was able to demonstrate that beneath the surface, Archie was capable of dropping his prejudices, accepting people he thought he could never accept, and evolving as a human being.
Learning acceptance wasn’t just a nice thing to do in the seventies. It was something that was necessary to becoming successful both in work and in life.
Daniela McVicker is an author, psychologist and educator. She believes that success depends on knowing the ideas that allow you to manage and master the universe of information. For more information you may check her project TopWritersReview or follow Daniela onTwitter.