“The average man wants to be rich, the rich man wants to be king, and the king wants to rule the world!”
Quote and Picture from Genius Turner, Yogi | Author | Life Coach, as seen on quora.com
It all boils down to what we are trying to get.
I read the above quote from a young man who was quoting his father. It struck a cord with me as I thought about a recent conversation I had with a friend. It centered around our desires and how we just can’t find happiness. It centered around gratitude and inner fortitude and how that is sorely missing in the present times.
We live in a time of plenty, a time when most people in modern society can eat three meals a day, dress decently, and enjoy certain pleasures within the day like watch a program on TV, go to a park with a picnic basket, listen to music, and drink a cup of coffee. Yet sadness, dissatisfaction, and depression weighs very heavily on many people.
Let’s talk about it.
Let’s study the picture above. Not make excuses, not justify, not put up a defense, nothing but be still and study it.
Constant exposure into others’ lives can be exciting and can make for great entertainment, but there is a darker side. See, very few people can bear to show their imperfections and many can’t even face themselves enough to accept it. So, on social media or TV, they will show you a snapshot of their finest moment – the perfect smile, the exotic location, the perfect family, the car or house, that is not within reach. They represent success…and we want what they appear to have.
So I will tell you a story. A friend was visiting a lovely tourist location in London. She observed two ladies arrive. They were dressed to the nines – clearly not in line with the event – with stiletto heels. They quickly took a bunch of pictures and left just as quickly. Later, she saw the same ladies but this time they were in flats, their beautiful heels secured in their grasps. She added two and two together. Those pictures were meant for social media.
That is the fake reality many are following – fake moments and snapshots. It will never be enough and will be depressing to live forever in a snapshot.
We want this and that…and we want it NOW. It’s easy to justify timetables, for after all we can point to a rich 19 year old YouTuber, a 6 year old Instagram sensation, a tech genius who is not more than 20, and a rich sports player who didn’t enter a college classroom. Since everyone is praising them they must be the embodiment of success. However, just as no wise person would live their whole life hoping for a lottery win, no wise person should place a bet on the few unusual stories.
So what is real?
- 1% became wealthy before the age of 40
- 3% became wealthy between age 40 and 45
- 16% became wealthy between age 46 and 50
- 28% became wealthy between age 51 and 55
- 31% became wealthy between age 56 and 60
- 21% became wealthy after the age of 60
The above data is the true timetable of life. Setting unrealistic timetables will lead to depression, agitation, angst, restlessness, and low self esteem.
How to get out of it
- Realize the lies: Maturity involves facing the real world and dealing with it. Maturity involves shifting through bull crap and not being overtaken by it. And it involves running your own race without looking at others…and loving and accepting the race you are given.
- Wake up: No one or thing can make you or I happy. It is important to wake up to what life is really all about. All of us have a finite number of years and it is best to live them with peace and contentment. What we really want is love, people that care for us, and things to enjoy. It might take some discipline but all of us do have these things already – in different measures. We are just so focused on what someone else has we can’t see it.
- Gratitude Journal: This might sound childish, but it works. Keep a journal and everyday write one thing (or more if you can) you are grateful for. Don’t neglect the “simple and small” things: That look your child gave you, that “NO” you said to push the bad habit away at the last second, that hug from a friend, that phone call or text asking about you, that puppy running towards you, that warm meal you ate, that one person you mean so much to, that job that gives you an income. Let your mind run free as you write. Then read it aloud.
- Affirmative words: Listen to what you tell yourself and adjust accordingly. The gratitude journal will help with this as it will open your mind to the positive and true. Find words that are affirming, either a quote from scripture or from your favorite motivational speaker, and speak them. Keep your circle of relationships clean. Let those with access to your emotions be positive, real, down to earth, and walking the same path you are, the path towards contentment and self love.
In conclusion, let’s look at that picture at the top. Again. At some point it is time to simply live and love life, stop looking sideways, and let the joy of living fill our hearts. We can be free from striving for more.