From diverse sources there flows a continuing pressure to retain high ambition…Coupled with this positive emphasis upon the obligation to maintain lofty goals is a correlative emphasis upon the penalizing of those who draw in their ambitions.  Americans are admonished “not to be a quitter” for in the dictionary of American culture, as in the lexicon of youth, “there is no such world as ‘fail.’”  The cultural manifesto is clear: one must not quite, must not cease striving, must not lessen his goals, for “not failure, but low aim, is crime.” (1968, pp. 192-193).

Thus the culture enjoins the acceptance of three cultural axioms: First, all should strive for the same lofty goals since these are open to all; second, present seeming failure is but a way-station to ultimate success; and their, genuine failure consists only in the lessening or withdrawal of ambition (1968, p. 193).