WHAT DO YOU LOVE!?
I recently watched a short video on the wealth distribution we have in America and how blind we all are to the reality of how “bad” it really is. It was a powerful thing to see and without my wanting to, it sent me into lots of thinking. The basis of the video was to outline what most Americans think that the wealth across the United States looks like from poor to rich and what it actually looks like. Needless to say it’s far worse than you would expect.
Seeing such information can immediately put your mind into a depression or anxious mindset. “Will I struggle the rest of my life? Will I always live paycheck to paycheck? Will my state of living ever really improve?” By taking a step back from the silly paper money and financial charts though things can much more easily fall into perspective.
It’s really funny how much money can seemingly make or break a person emotionally. If you have more, life is most definitely going to improve drastically and of course less money means terrible times and unhappiness. Yet, if we stop for a minute and really think about what we’d do if we came into a lot more money we might start seeing things differently.
After you’d complete your stupid spending spree and realize that you were just as empty as when you started the REAL thoughts would start pouring back into your head. “Why do I feel empty? Why am I not happy?” The hard truth is the same one as always “money can’t buy happiness”. What it CAN buy however is freedom. Whether someone learns how to utilize that freedom or not is entirely up to the individual and, here’s the funny thing…you don’t actually have to have lots of money to have lots of freedom. You simply have to learn about money, how to use it and how to set yourself up to live a more “free” life.
The more I sit in a cubicle and slave away with no purpose or direction…the more I tend to buy useless crap to try to fill the gap in my soul. I tend to over eat and over drink because something inside of me just doesn’t feel right. I need the money though…right?? I have to do this! I’m not sure how else to make ends meet.
Sadly, our system is set up perfectly to work in this way. It’s the main component behind consumerism. Feeling empty because you have no purpose creates small “purchasing goals”. Things you can look forward to with your little paychecks. “After three weeks I can afford “blank item” and then I’ll have it!” Nothing ever changes and nothing ever moves forward. So maybe you buy a better car or a bigger house. Still…nothing changes in the slightest. Well, then it’s probably just because you couldn’t afford the house with the tennis court or the car with the heated seats. “Frank down the street got the deluxe model and here I am stuck with this damn thing. Maybe I’ll refinance the house and buy myself the ultra-deluxe model with the leather pencil holder and the rear view mirror that makes me look skinny.” Where do YOU actually fit into any of this? How do your talents and personal attributes have anything to do with how shiny your car is?
You were born an individual with a certain set of skills. When you have the time or freedom (or take the time) to find and utilize those skills you will find yourself much more blissfully at home and fulfilled. Some people find out about these things early on in life and some much later but rest assure there is something that is calling to you and you’re calling to it. Somewhere out there is one of the dumbest guys you’ve ever met, but he makes the best food you’ve ever tasted. Along with that there’s someone that’s smart as a whip but for some reason she’s a great fisherman and has never had to use her vast intelligence for much of anything. Whatever the case is…money didn’t lead either of them toward fulfillment or happiness. Hilariously enough, simply doing what they enjoy did.
If we continue to latch onto the goals and mindsets that we see on television we will continue to live confused and empty lives ironically the same kind of lives that most folks with lots of money are living because they’re just as confused as most everyone else. They just happen to be sipping a mixed drink on the beach while confused instead of drinking warm root beer on a porch swing. Television and media will have you believe that your state of living should match your state of mind but once more that’s not the case. Here’s an example… I remember riding the bus one day when I was in eighth grade and they had just spread manure onto the neighboring fields. It smelled freaking awful and nearly everyone on the bus covered their face except for one kid. He was the one that helped spread the manure with his dad the day before. He lived and worked on the farm and he freaking LOVED the smell. It was like fine wine to the guy. So, similarly, as the great author Eckhart Tolle states “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it”. Our thoughts were that it smelled like shit…and he thought it “was the shit”… so-to-speak.
My point in all this is that… While it’s good to be knowledgeable about our financial “crisis” and the state of our government, it’s much better to step as far back from it as possible. It’s being able to know that you’re in the rat race but being able to step back from it and realize that it’s just a race. Such introspection tends to set one free because you realize that you’re “bigger” than the race itself. Your material possessions are neither great nor poor. They are only how you feel about them. Maybe your mother passed away and gave you a beautiful necklace that means the world to you. That necklace could be the ugliest damn necklace that anyone has ever seen…but not to you.
Learn about money and quit putting yourself into debt by buying stupid things you don’t need. Analyze your life and what you really need and desire to survive. How big and new does your house really need to be so that you can do what you love? And, even more importantly, WHAT DO YOU LOVE!? If it’s a better car than rest assure my friend, you have been brainwashed by the TV box.
Oh and lastly…one of the greatest replies to the “lots of money” question is “If I had money, I would travel.” That’s not really as much of an answer as it is a big distraction from your life. You can only run around the world for so long until you sit down long enough to realize that you’re still not DOING anything but running around. Sure, you can travel and maybe that’s related to your calling in life but…just traveling and seeing the world is not a skill…it’s just looking at stuff. :)
Here’s a link to the video I mentioned: http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2