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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Surviving , existing & burning out vs. living

All about balance
All about balance

So, I haven’t written a blog post in a while, here’s why.

I’ve had the realisation that a lot of my problems are stemming from totally and utter burnout and meltdown, like constantly. There’s many reasons for this like stressful work or too many responsibilities. But also your lifestyle and personality/how you look at the world.

I’ve been unknowingly seeing myself as some sort of robot, able to complete everything that needs doing with no breaks and rest. I have a bit of a serial processor brain, which doesn’t seem to be compatible with how life works, and sometimes I don’t know how to live in this world. It’s bad for my health, relationships, work, life and everything really.

I’m finding it very hard to fit into society’s system. I feel I don’t have enough time to do what I want because of things getting in the way like work, sleep, having to eat, shop, clean, exercise, and do other stuff that needs to be done. I feel like I’m always just existing to complete a never ending load of tasks, chores, lists, responsibilities, duties, obligations and problems to solve. I have an intense need for resolve. I can’t think about anything else until things are done, and out of the way. Only then, can I relax and enjoy myself, but because the list never ends, I never get to that part.

Everything is of equal priority, all urgent and it all needs to have a productive outcome or it’s a “waste of time.” Which is silly because intellectually I know that nothing is a waste of time if you enjoy it. It’s like a never ending addiction, it’s my personality (the analytical thinker). I’m not great at taking care of myself, I kind of see myself as a tool to accomplish goals. I can feel lost on holidays and weekends because there’s nothing to fix or resolve, it’s freedom to do what you want, but I don’t know what to do with that sometimes, if I’m honest, weird I know.

I think I need a better filter, better priorities and to get the rest I need to start with. Everything will become more enjoyable if I do it when I’m in the mood to do it too. I’m guessing this isn’t just me and that the human brain didn’t evolve to process the amount of information we’re fed/bombarded with today and to become achievement machines, the under appreciation of rest in modern society isn’t helping either.

From everything I’ve gathered, read and know, I feel like there’s a big scale where at one end, you have right brain dominated people who can relax, have fun and be in the moment, but if they’re unable to be focused and get things done, they’re at risk from becoming unsuccessful, feeling useless and depressed. Much like my little brother, who’s the opposite to me in this way.

At the other end of the scale you have your left brain dominated people who are productive, focused, determined and successful but if they’re unable to relax and live in the moment, they’re at risk from becoming anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, overworked and burnt out and also depressed.

So my personality informs the way I look at the world and my lifestyle, and my job in the mix means this is what I get. Lovely.

I don’t feel free. Life feels pointless. I feel like I’m just surviving and existing, but not living at all.

Never mind the absolute hell my life is because of this, I also don’t want to be on my death bed thinking “I got a lot of things done”, I want to think ”I had a lovely ride, lot’s of fun, mad experiences, and no regrets.”

My friend said a great thing to me “You do need to enjoy things. Like…you’ll die one day. This is a profoundly unfair FACT. You should squeeze out of life what you want, not what you think you should do.”

Which is great advice, but obviously she doesn’t have my brain, personality, lifestyle and mindset. There doesn’t seem to be any help or support out there that I know of for this, but I’ll do all I can to help myself and others going through the same thing.

Fuel to remember:

– If I feel on the verge of a burnout, stop what I’m doing and rest, cancel plans and remove stress
– Ask myself – does that really need to be done right now?
– Try to live more in the right brain and the moment and give myself a break
– Find balance and you will be more content
– I’ll die one day, so squeeze out of life what I can
– Do what the fuck I want in life, not what I think I should do
– I’m not a machine or robot, I’m a human, and human’s need balance in rest and achievement
– Nothing is a waste of time if I enjoy it
– Meditate daily, exercise 3 times a week
– Find a way to do my passions and have a better work-life balance that I’m happy with

 

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you did enjoy it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
 
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“Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”

― Bill Hicks

It might be quite cynical and controversial but I feel like Bill makes a good point. It’s the ‘rat race’, what do you win at the end of it? In the short term – Success? In the long term – Death?

Wikipedia puts it well:

A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze or in a wheel.

In an analogy to the modern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing (meaningful) either collectively or individually. This is often used in reference to work, particularly excessive or competitive work; in general terms, if one works too much, one is in the rat race. This terminology contains implications that many people see work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose.

The increased image of work as a “rat race” in modern times has led many to question their own attitudes to work and seek a better alternative; a more harmonious Work-life balance. Many believe that long work hours, unpaid overtime, stressful jobs, time spent commuting, less time for family life and/or friends life, has led to a generally unhappier workforce/population unable to enjoy the benefits of increased economic prosperity and a higher standard of living.

Escaping the rat race can have a number of different meanings:

  • A description of the movement, of either the Home or Work Location, of previously City Dwellers or Workers to more rural locations

  • Retirement in general or no longer needing / having to work.

  • Moving from a high pressure job to a less intense role either at a different company or within the same company at an alternative location or department.

  • Changing to a different job that does not involve working 9 to 5 and a long commute.

  • Working from home.

  • Becoming financially independent from an employer.

  • Entering professions such as teaching/motivational speaking

  • Moving away from the city to the country and living in harmony with nature.

It’s certainly socially accepted and the norm in society to live like this. In cave man days, they would probably just get up when the sun rose and go to bed when it went down, in sync with nature. But now we get up super early everyday, work hard all day and go to bed too late every night, then when the weekend rolls around you might say we feel entitled to let our hair down. Not a great cycle for our health or sanity but it sure does keep us productive and ignorant.

So whether it’s a Rat Race, a conveyor belt, treadmill, or an invisible prison, I don’t want to be part of it. Life is ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things but I could at least spend my best years doing something that truly fulfills me instead of chasing money in order to keep on living to keep on chasing money, it’s self perpetuating stress and meaninglessness.

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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.

 

 

Accumulating, consuming, debt and freedom

“Sell your crap. Pay your debt. Do what you love.” – An inspiring message, I agree with getting rid of the excess to feel more free and flexible. “What does freedom mean to you?” For me it’s freedom from my own thoughts, mind and job. I don’t feel liberated, I realise it and I aim to change it.

“We’ve bought into the addiction, we’ve been sold a myth, which is: acquiring things in our life and the pursuit of a living environment filled with things is going to grant us security, or happiness. We start to identify with these things, you can tell who’s successful or not etc by the possessions they have. People’s identity shouldn’t be based on their collection of nice stuff, it should be based on their collection of rich experiences.”

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who work long, hard hours, at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” – Nigel Marsh

Another quote I love that relates to this addiction/myth us: “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” – George Carlin

This feels especially important to note around times like Christmas. Which for me, is a time for celebration and acquisition of memories and experiences, not more objects I don’t really need.

I’ve started to pay off my debt instead of save, sell stuff I hardly use, and become more aware of my superficial desires and temporary happiness that buying things gives me, and I already feel better. Here’s to freedom.

Humanity, connection, fulfilment and helping others.

Authenticity matters, be your true self. I would love to see a world where people and companies were more authentic, genuine, generous, true to themselves and use their strengths. “When we are surrounded by people who believe what we believe, trust emerges and our very survival and progress, goes up.”

What is the point in lying, not being genuine, not using your strengths and spending most of your life working towards something of only monetary value – what if that doesn’t fulfill you? I sure don’t want to die, the richest in the graveyard unless its rich in experiences and meaningful connections.

How to find and do work you love

What are your strengths, what are your values?

what is your definition of success?

“People haven’t spent time understanding what really matters to them and keep reaching for something that doesn’t mean anything to us but we keep doing it cos someone said we’re supposed to”

What would it look like if 80% of people in the world, loved the work they do? How would they treat the people around them?

“Do the things that inspire us so that we can inspire people to do what inspires them” – that’s what I hope to do with this blog.