Looking back on Health Week 2023

News - 14 March 2023 - Communication

We look back on a successful Health Week with a jam-packed programme dedicated to your social, mental, physical and spiritual health. Many activities took place throughout the week; from fitness tests and massages to a lie down and listen concert and duo yoga. You took steps to continue 2023 in a healthy way, reflected on what health means to you and were able to experience the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

We would like to close Health Week with the words of Arjan van Dam (psychologist) on success and failure in the performance-driven society. He would participate as a panel member in the unfortunately cancelled event Meritocracy: mental health within a makeable world.

See you next year!

“Success comes from hard work. Indeed, if you want to be successful, you must work hard for it. Nobody achieves success without effort. This was however not the case when our society was still an aristocracy. Your bed was made if your parents were aristocrats, but if you were a farmer or a laborer, you could work as hard as you liked but never reach the top of the social ladder. This, thankfully, has changed with the rise of the meritocracy, in which hard work can propel you higher up the social ladder.
A meritocracy is characterized by the fact that everyone is given equal opportunities, and your talent and hard work determine how far you advance in society. This is why the slogan - hard work brings success - sounds so appealing when you see it pass by. You have control over your own destiny. Then, when you finally make it to the top of society after years of hard work, you can proudly proclaim, "I earned this!" You look down from the top and conclude that those people below should simply have worked harder if they want to be there as well. Isn't it true that both success and failure are your own fault?

The idea that hard work leads to success is a persistent myth in the achievement culture. If you surveyed all unsuccessful people to find out why they are unsuccessful, you would not be able to easily conclude that they simply did not work hard enough. You can't also say that everyone who makes it to the top did so merely because they worked hard. They have also been fortunate in terms of their talents and the people they have met in their lives.

The deeply ingrained belief that hard work leads to success makes us prone to hubris (and false self-pride) when we are successful and humiliates us when we are not. If we are imbued with the fact that you need a good dose of luck in your life to be successful, we will be kinder to ourselves and others when success fails to materialize. - Arjan van Dam (psychologist)