What is happiness anyway? And what does it take to stay healthy and happy throughout our short time here on this spinning rock?
I often wonder about that one dear readers. Well, I think about it constantly if we are going to get down to brass tacks. I keep it on my mind and in my heart in particular for safe keeping.
With so much uncertainty in life and the responsibility to make good decisions it can be challenging to know what to do with the time we have available to us. And because of this uncertainty, it seemingly becomes a lot easier when we delegate our free will to other parties, letting them live rent-free in our heads when we should be taking care of our own shit.
Then we can live like crabs in the bucket.
You see, the well travelled route in many cases is often the least satisfying overall, but it is in our nature to avoid resistance sparked behaviour. Living our lives with a goal of everyone should have the same, and no one can do better, because then you get attacked and shamed.
And you can do it to other people too if you are feeling down ever.
Which is why that old adage of “aspire to wealth and fame, it will inevitably lead you to happiness” is a false one. Sure it is incredibly easy to work “really hard” at a singular focus, especially when that focus is one that makes money. But the results of that behaviour lead us away from what can really produce those happiness results.
Let me elaborate.
There are common career paths that people can take, and often you will find that those paths get applause from the majority of people because they are “safe” and pragmatic. But the reality is that we aren’t all cut out to be teachers, healthcare workers, engineers, accountants, and salespeople. But those jobs are prevalent everywhere, so they get positive attention.
Don’t be confused and think that I disagree with those professions, no I think that there are people who are qualified AND passionate about those areas and should be in those jobs, my concern is that the crab bucket mentality pushes people (especially creative people) who shouldn’t be in those fields to set their standards in the wrong direction.
Which is why it appears to be fun and acceptable to fantasize about wealth and fame. Having money seems like a great way to assure yourself of security in life, and fame looks to yield those results too.
Now if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading tabloids or gossip magazines, guess what many of the people who experience ridiculous amounts of fame struggle with? Relationships and health. The ones who have worked hard on themselves and their full skillset don’t see these issues, but those who limp along, then hit a spot of luck with whatever talent they have aren’t truly ready for the incredible pressure that money and fame put on an individual.
As the Notorious B.I.G. would say, mo money, mo problems.
So how do you combat that problems of mediocrity and overexposure? It’s simple really, you recognize what your life purpose is and go for that. However much or little time you can dedicate to it, you put that full effort into your day and over time you will find that you are investing your energy into healthy relationships too, because you are naturally happier.
But that’s not it, that’s where we run into the problem of rookie rockstars.
It’s not just as simple as following your life purpose. The kicker is that you have to find a way to build and maintain intimate relationships too.
This video by Robert Waldinger is a pretty solid summary of what I’m referring to.
As a creative type, you will struggle with self-doubt and you will experience people who don’t believe in or undervalue what you are making, but loneliness can be even more toxic then the problems of addictive behaviour. What I mean by this is that you can definitely be in a toxic relationship and feel alone all the same, and avoiding people just because they don’t “get it” won’t help either.
You need to believe in what you are creating, and protect it, but never shield everything for the sake of your craft. As the saying goes, don’t cut off your nose to spite the face.
This balancing act is definitely more challenging, but it is so worth it when you can look back even one year and say to yourself, I am loved and I accomplished this!
What do you think? Is this just a theory? Or is it a theory with some salt? Until next time my friends.