Hello Everyone and welcome back to the blog,
In recent times I have been asking myself one defining question. And that question is : ” What If?”
What if everything we have been conditioned to see as success, is in fact the very things that keeps success out of our reach?
What if success actually lies in ” not buying” into the established paradigms of success?
What if ” the dream” we have been sold is actually ” the nightmare” from which we need to wake up?
What if “happiness and success” have been set up in our world to be” impossibly out of alignment with each other”?
The never ending quest that manifests as never ending uncertainty, doubt and self sabotage!
As time goes on and I examine the so called “successful” people in our world at the moment – and as I delve more and more into what I see as success, it seems that the two worlds – as set out by the media and advertising and established norms are becoming more and more misaligned.
That is – we are encouraged to work and work, and strive and strive, for success and power and wealth and glory and domination over others….
But increasingly I am finding that my happiness - my success – comes wrapped in a totally different wrapping!
A wrapping of small moments and genuine concern for the well being of others.
A wrapping cloaked in smiles and cups of coffee and lending a helping hand where needed.
A wrapping of self acceptance – despite all my shortcomings, fears and unaccomplished dreams and ambitions.
Is it possible that the very things we are encouraged to chase after, are the very things keeping us away from what we seek?
The irony is somewhat dumbfounding to be honest.
To find that for years I have been chasing a dream – but that the chasing of that dream, is in fact what has brought the sadness, the pain, the depression, the sense of self deprecation and worthlessness – is alarming and quieting at the same time!
The number of times I have attended seminars and been told things like this is astounding:
Presenter: ” The only thing stopping you from an incredible life is a good life”!
Of course it is. If I am actually happy with my life and love my life and feel it is a ” good life” then I am not likely to now buy into your next seminar for the small sum of $5,000.00 or more!
Or that old chestnut:
Presenter: ” How many of you out there feel like you are here to make a difference in the world – but just haven’t found what your calling is yet? Is fear stopping you? Do you fear failure? etc etc Well we can help you”
Ha ha - of course you can – for the princely sum of your next seminar!
What if people knew that they could make a huge difference right now, simply by extending kindness and compassion to those around them? Mmmmmmmm – that’s no good. There’s no money in that! What if we all knew that we could all have that incredible empowerment and joy of giving and community for free?
Sshhhhhh – don’t tell anyone that!
And then there is marketing:
Advert: ” Worried about those wrinkles or whatever? Well – use this product [ shampoo, wrinkle cream, whatever ] – because you are worth it!
Of course we are worth it if we pay $65.00 for your wrinkle cream, diet plan or other beauty enhancing product. Heaven forbid that we are actually ” worth it” just as we are! There’s no sale in that is there!
Or even this:
Advert : ” Need to get away – is life stressing you out? You deserve a break!
Well – heaven forbid that you actually love your life and don’t need to escape from it.
We are constantly being told – from every corner – that we are in trouble:
You are not pretty enough [ better buy our product ]
You haven’t achieved enough [ better come to our seminar to find out how to achieve more and be the person you were destined to be ]
You don’t earn enough [ better find another job - we can help ]
You are not important enough [ we can help you with that - write a book, earn more, be more, look better ]
And on and on and on it goes!
There is a plethora of free surveys on Facebook to reveal just why you are not successful and happy [ not surprisingly the reason is always fear ]. These surveys then lead to the free one day seminar [ really a day long infomercial ] for the fabulously expensive seminar that will cure you of all your failings – for the fabulous price of $$$$$$.
It is insane.
Imagine if we all just thought we were fabulous as we are.
Mmmmmmmm – but there are no sales to be had there!
So it seems that keeping us all feeling crappy about who we are, is imperative to keep the wheels of consumerism turning.
To keep us buying – you have to keep us unhappy!
And the kicker is that these very things that claim they will make us HAPPY, are the very systems and products that are destined to keep us SAD! We can never measure up to these standards – it is set up that way to keep us on the treadmill of feeling like we are not enough!
And let me tell you – I know! The amount of money I have spent on books and seminars and beauty products is insane! And even now as I write this, I am not immune.
The joke really is on us!
I was even told at a seminar on ” how to run seminars” that you need to keep coming up with products to sell your unwitting customers. In essence I was told to – “promise that you are going to solve all their woes – but keep coming up with more and more things that they need, or things that are wrong with them – because the minute they are happy and feel secure in who they are - the cash cow will be well and truly milked!”
Of course it was not presented as bluntly as this. It was well and truly ” sugar coated” for a more palatable digestion. But the true meaning was quite clear!
I was shocked and appalled to be honest, and have not gone down the road recommended, as it just didn’t sit well with me. But others who have, are making a mint!
Because we have become so conditioned to buy into this fallacy that we are not good enough and that happiness will come from being better. From being more!
More successful [ whatever that is?]!
More like anyone who is not us !
Do I sound cynical?
Well – yes I am!
And let me tell you – I do love a good seminar and have attended many in my time.
And I may still attend some in the future, as I really do love hearing inspiring people speak about their lives and experiences. But I do wonder at the counter productive nature of many of these events.
So am I saying that all seminars are worthless?
No – not at all. I may run my own in the future. And like I said, I have found many workshops, seminars and books to be most helpful in me finding my way to who I am.
But I do think we should all be prudent and realise that true happiness actually comes in one package alone:
Self acceptance wrapped in kindness to others!
And that I believe is the true secret that no-one wants you to know.
You are enough!
You are fabulous!
You can make a huge difference in your community each and every day without spending a cent!
In my opinion, you have within you, the four most important ingredients to Success and Happiness:
2. The Power of a Smile!
3. The Power of a Kind Word!
4. The Power to Help Someone When You Can!
And that is, in my humble opinion, Where Happiness Resides!
So today, I invite you to step away from the status quo and awaken to the truth of You and the life You choose to lead!
Sure – be the best you can be, enjoy being creative, achieve things that interest you, attend events you love and buy things you want.
Just don’t buy into the game anymore!
Step off the Treadmill of Unhappy and Jump onto the Happy Train!
#DiscoverYou #LoveYou #BeYou
And remember we are all just doing the best we can.