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With incomes rising and lifestyle choices expanding, the motivations of China's emerging affluent classprimarily consumers in their 30s and 40sare evolving rapidly. Compared to 10 years ago, they are driven by the challenges of balancing multi-dimensional roles, rather than merely achieving basic professional success.

What does that mean? For one, China's upper middle class invests in "experiences" to provide a broad worldview. From sharpening expertise in health and wellness to exploring different cultures and cultivating a broad range of personal hobbies, projecting a multi-faceted identity defines success. Wide horizons are a weapon on the battlefield of life.

There's a tension there: "I want to do more and be more but I struggle to balance it all." This anxiety is a modern-day manifestation of the ancient Confucian "doctrine of the mean"or zhong yongwhich espouses maintaining balance and harmony.

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