Success defined by society: Keeping up with the Jones’

I think we should redefine the definition of success from monetary based to happiness. Would it be worth the risks to the economy? In my opinion it would, everyone would be happier generally, enjoy their lives more, have less regrets, follow their intuition more and we wouldn’t be destroying the planet. But society has heavily taught us that to be happy and successful we need to make the most money we possibly can and get big careers, or we’re ‘losers’, we’ve ‘failed’ at life.

In my opinion though, if working a part time, low waged job, makes you really happy (like Randy in Clerks working at the video store), then you ARE ‘successful’, you’ve ‘won’, well done, you’re doing what you want with your life. If you’re working at a store, and you hate it, then it’s not for you, you’re not following your intuition. And this doesn’t mean that it’s an unsuccessful or a bad way to live for someone else. One person’s heaven, is another person’s hell, and visa versa.

We’re unhappy because we think the grass is always greener, looking to celebrities and other people we compare ourselves to, to lead the way. I personally haven’t enjoyed my life so far at all because I’ve been striving for success and achieving things, so I resent society for tricking me into thinking that was more important than my happiness. Nothing is taught in schools about how to be happy and parents don’t help either, they want you to get the highest grades so you can secure a decent job, cos they believe the lie too. Also, according to The Guardian, Anxiety or depression affects nearly one in five UK adults. Could this be related to the chronic stress we’re under as humans living today?

Society defines success as being rich, famous and owning loads of stuff. It’s in the best interests of Capitalism to make people strive to be financially successful. If people are happy making little money, and you don’t have anything pushing you to want more for yourself and to be a ’success’, then we’ll be happy but the economy and people at the top milking us for money, will suffer.

So should we be selfish and make sure us and the people around us, enjoy our lives or should we be selfless and give our lives and happiness over to the economy that’s only friends with us for our money?

You can do what you want. Even if you chose a path, that you fall out of love with years later, you can pick another one. Nothing is set in stone, you can change any time. Same goes for falling out of love with people, ideas and religions. As long as you’re listening to your intuition, you can’t go wrong. The trick is – learning how to correctly interpret or know what your intuition is saying!

We can get pleasure from achieving, consuming and collecting in the moment and that’s okay. But if you’re life is defined only by what you’ve managed to achieve, consume or collect at the end, that’s a waste of life. There’s no point in being the richest man in the graveyard, or the one that needed just another year to achieve their goals, in order to be happy. I bet you would happier if you lived every moment as fully as you could, lived with authenticity, did what you wanted, followed your intuition and truly enjoyed yourself. How we spend and our life is how we spend and our moments. “Enjoy the moment because this is all you have. Create for tomorrow, but live in and for today.” – Robert Anthony

Live now, the time is now, this is it… don’t die never knowing what it feels like to be free. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you, because you’ll be wasting your life, time and energy in the meantime. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” – John Lennon

So for a healthier society maybe we need to redefine success to be about being happy in life now. If you manage to enjoy your life, well done – you’re a success! Would this not be a society you’d want to live in?

Summary:

  • Don’t let society or anyone dictate your happiness or success (“care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner”) – Lao Tzu
  • If you’re happy in life; you’ve made it, you’re successful (in my opinion)
  • Listen to your intuition, do what’s right for you, do what you want to do
  • Don’t compare your life to celebrities or anyone else, everyone is unique
  • Take inspiration from animals and children in how to live in the moment, do more of what you feel and enjoy life
  • We are all going to die and we can’t control when, so what do you want to do while you’re here
*Update: When I say happiness I mean contentment. Happiness is often short-lived. It is often an attempt to overcome feelings of unhappiness. Contentment is a state in which you are at peace with yourself and the world, even if the world around you is not to your liking.

I hope this had some value to you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

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Do magazines exist to fill an emptiness?

Good Housekeeping
An old Feb issue of Good Housekeeping – what’s bad housekeeping?

We all have emptiness we try to fill up with food, TV, relationships, shopping, drugs etc. I guess that’s just a human thing to feel and do, at a very basic primal and unconscious level. I think we can do better than that, and become so much more self aware.

‘Buy this magazine for a whopping £4 and you’ll be living a full life in no time. (As long as you keep buying this magazine). Packed full of things to buy, places to go, things to eat and wear, your happiness depends on us.’

This is how I interpret it, reading this magazine, made me feel quite sad. I couldn’t help but notice the play on human desires, gluttony, envy and pleasure taking place to sell magazines. Does anyone live the kind of life that’s advertised in glossy magazines? And if they do, how fulfilled and happy are they? I also felt sad because some of the grass in the magazine looks much glossier and greener than mine.

'Add a little love' - what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can't buy love, didn't they?
‘Add a little love’ – what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can’t buy love, didn’t they?

I guess the problem I have with most magazines if not all, is they take part in the big lie that certain lifestyles, ideas and things will fill people up inside and make them happy. Full of adverts for holidays, clothes, makeup, jewellery, hair/skin products, articles on how to get good skin, articles about love, ageing, advice and recipes, each part followed by an advertisement of some sort. Call me cynical, call me wrong, but I don’t believe a certain beauty product will be the one that will fix everything, you can’t fight nature. How you look, how your skin is, is largely determined by things like your lifestyle, diet, environment and genes. I just don’t believe the answers to my happiness are in magazines like this, I think they just want to sell me things and plant ideas of a better life because mine ‘isn’ good enough’. It gives me choice anxiety, and the grass is greener all over the place.

Holidays
How do I possibly choose? I should go to them all incase I make the wrong choice, and one makes me more happy than the other.

Not that consumerism is totally bad, I just want to see a variety of content out there. I want to see a magazine that says, “just be you, whatever that is, is fine, have fun, get out of your comfort zone and take care of yourself. Do what feels right to you, there’s no set rules that work for everyone, experience as much as you can while you’re still alive, whatever that might be.”

I want people to learn that true happiness comes from the inside not the outside, I want their mind to be fuelled with meaningful, helpful things, things like what George Carlin once said “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body”. In my opinion – trying to be happy by buying monthly consumerist magazines and believing everything in there will make your life better/happier, is also like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

What would it be like to live a more liberated existence?

This is Simon Amstell’s live at the BBC ‘Numb’ show, he talks about all sorts of great things, including the part I’m choosing to focus on for this blog post:

He has some astute thoughts on the current human race and society today if he was to leap into the future and look back on us, in this time now. Our human history is full of oppression and close mindedness, and it’s mad to think that in hundreds of years from now we could live more liberated and open-minded lives. (The opposite to many films portrayal of the future like Hunger Games).

“Do you remember when people thought money was the answer, that money would make them happy, ‘If only I could just win the lottery, oh I have won it, oh I spent it all, the problem was internal.’ Remember when we had prisons, when we separated people into cages rather than giving them the love they needed that would have stopped all the crime. What about when religious people fail to remember that God is nature, there’s nothing more all-encompassing or wise than mother nature and athiests forgot that science is the study of nature, and then they both remembered and had amazing sex by a tree. Do you remember when people felt proud of where they came from, like it was something to do with them, it’s just where you happen to fall out of your mother’s vagina. If you’re going to have a flag, have a flag of a vagina, so then you can meet people and go ‘oh hi, where are you from? Oh same as me, let’s be friends.'” – Simon Amstell

In 2014 however, certain things shunt this development of higher consciousnesses, like the perpetuation of fear in the media to sell more papers, magazines & products and to distract us from what truly matters.

It makes me think of when we were all kids, did we care about where other people came from? Did we think money would make us happy, or anything else for that matter? We wanted things of course but not because it would make us happy, but because we just wanted them so bad in the moment, like cake or a certain toy. What if, we’ve lost our childlike wonder along the way to growing up and seeing things with judging eyes, and closed minds? I want to get some of that back.

Simon’s obviously watched some Bill Hicks when he says this: “Everything’s a choice between fear and love, we may as well choose love because death is coming.”

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

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“I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent.” Don Draper, Mad Men

A lot of us feel cheated by the universe at times, like it’s out to get us, why us? It’s conspiring against us, wanting us to fail. But actually the universe doesn’t give a shit about us or about anything, it just exists, it’s indifferent, it’s neural.

Which in a way it’s quite nice, I wouldn’t want the world to have such power over the outcome of my circumstances, good or bad. The world doesn’t revolve around us, it will be here after we die, doing it’s thing, sun rising and setting, winds blowing, oceans lapping, we’re temporary travelers and nothing is truly ours to keep.

“The thing about the ultimate cosmic meaninglessness of man is that you can either wallow in your insignificance and the attendant pain that brings in a culture so obsessed with fame and being important, or you can fall in love with literally everything and everyone in a dozen small ways because everything still exists despite the statistical unlikelihood of it all and that’s a goddamn miracle” – anon

So if we be a bit more mindful of these points, we can get a bit of perspective on what matters in our lives by realising our inevitable demise and our insignificance to the universe.

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

Email me at mindfuelstuff@gmail.com if you want to talk more on this.

“Everything and everyone around us, is fleeting and impermanent” – Brianna Wiest

Also: “Property is theft. Nobody ‘owns’ anything. When you die, it all stays here.” – George Carlin

It’s up to us to build our lives how we want it and create our own inner happiness, we are the one constant in our lives, our own best friends.

Things on the outside are fleeting and impermanent, coming and going throughout life at their own pace, like technology, products, furniture, art, films, experiences, rain, sun, our appearances, friends, lovers, pets and family. But things on the inside can be fleeting and impermanent too, like thoughts, feelings, moods, memories, opinions, problems and perspectives.

This helps ease the fact that bad things will come, as they will also pass like bad weather, life is a series of moments. I think it’s worth being mindful that what we have is not ours. The awesome neon light I got for a birthday present will go back into the world when I’m dead, I can’t take it with me, which is depressing but a freeing fact of nature in a way. Nothing really lasts forever so don’t suffer too much, quit complaining, accept and live, with joy. (Easier said than done of course!)

“I know I was born and I know that I’ll die, the in-between is mine, I am mine.”

Pearl Jam – I Am Mine

I love these lyrics that I interpret to be about doing whatever you like with your life because it’s yours, making your own path, self acceptance, empowerment and acceptance of the inevitable and uncontrollable. You can’t help, change or control being born or dying, have to accept and respect nature. What you do in-between that time (womb – ? – tomb) is entirely up to you. Enjoy it while it lasts.

And also Cake – Thrills

“Man is born, man lives, man dies.” Such a true statement, that is life and nature. These are facts and fate we can’t escape. Death and aging is scary and depressing to me, which is silly because it’s totally natural. Knowing and remembering you’re going to die one day, can be helpful in viewing life with a different mindset enabling you make the most of your time here. For example, “when work feels overwhelming, remember that you’re going to die.” Or this “I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.” ― Don Draper, Mad Men.

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” ― Mark Twain

 

 

 

“It doesn’t feed your soul, I’m still empty inside. The things you’re being offered can’t fill what we’re looking for.”

Russell Brand on consumerist western society and celebrity culture and how he’s been part of the charade but he’s awake now and wants to wake others too.

“Conservatism appeals to our selfishness and fear, our desire and self interest” He recognises qualities in himself of egotism, selfishness, lustfulness and because he recognises them in himself he would “prefer a culture that didn’t celebrate, exacerbate, stimulate the most negative aspects of our species, inculcate them, reward them financially till we get to a kind of cultural hysteria where we’re destroying the planet. It’s not like I feel like Tories are evil, it’s an evil system.”

I agree with him and I too am not fulfilled by what I’m told should make me happy by society and the media. For example: holidays, acquiring new things, money, promotions at work. What makes me happy are real experiences, connections to people, being in the moment and growing as a person.

Imagine if the majority of people “woke up” to these ideas and became truly self aware, we’d have a very different world I imagine. But the privileged people in power don’t want that, they want to keep us distracted with things like X Factor and Christmas hype. Books and films like ‘1984’, ‘The Matrix’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, show us what a dystopian future based on lies, manipulation, deceit and mass oppression could look like, where the rich have all the power, and where freedom and liberation are far from their grasp. Do you want that kind of future?

It seems to me, we’re heading down the wrong path. It’s currently very individualistic and not collectivistic, every man for himself. It’s very capitalist. I don’t think capitalism is all bad, but I don’t think it’s quite working either. And communism is too far the other way. Can we start something new that actually helps the planet and the people and distributes power among everyone?

We’re all human, all in this together, floating in space, every person has a right to freedom. I think Russell Brand is a beacon for good, in starting to help lead us away from the path of elite oppression. But how do you go about changing the system when the power isn’t in our hands….yet

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.