Tell me, “Who is your role model?”
Your parents? Your teacher? Your boss?
That handsome guy crying over a girl in that movie?
Fact: Chuck Norris has no role model; he is his own role model.
Okay okay lol. So life isn’t as cut and dry as we were all promised it to be. Somewhere over the past few generations, the idea of a single role model has all but faded. The lucid adolescent dreams of becoming a successful airplane pilot, news anchor, firefighter, baseball player, stock trader, doctor, lawyer, or even a CEO of the next Microsoft have gradually been demoralized by the reality of having nobody to look up to.
How do we get to where we want to be?
Where have all the role models gone?
They haven’t gone anywhere. They’re just difficult to connect with. And even if we do, following their footsteps doesn’t necessarily guarantee repeatable results. I think the majority of our parents learned this the hard way. Either they made it or they didn’t. And even if they made it, they weren’t sure how to dictate how. So to steer us away from the risk of failure, we’ve been presented with a fail-safe method towards mediocrity -
The Cookie-Cutter Lifestyle:
- Study hard, (then what?)
- Get a job, (then what?)
- Buy a house, (then what?)
- “I don’t know, get married.”
What exactly are we being spoon fed to become?
- Search “Social Conditioning” on my Blog
The other night, as I sent out another inspirational article to a good friend and business partner of mine.. he responded boldly with:
“After reading a few of your e-mails, I just realized something. We can refer to a few of these things. You could easily be brainwashed before you know it. My suggestion is, you only need a couple of people, insightful, inspirational people that YOU believe is qualified (and you have to be realistic and critical).”
He was dead on.
We live in an era where we have no clear cut role models.
Instead, we have to piece together bits and pieces of people’s experiences to build the super human we want to become. There are successful multi-million dollar CEO’s dictating that you will gain confidence only after becoming successful. Bullshit. It’s the other way around. Modern age “heroes’ preaching misdirected guidance to the hopeful general public about how they came about to where they are today. Yet, another part of their story may inspire you for the better!
As I’ve advised before: Take everything you learn with a grain of salt and apply your personal interpretation of it. Selective learning is best fit for successful personal development.
So, let me rephrase my question:
“Who do YOU find inspirational?”
An unexpectingly smooth and comforting buzz from the Johnnie Blacks the night before drift my consciousness slowly awake..
The initial blurs of my vision sharpen to the clarity of the morn with each repressed blink of the eye. A beautiful delight rests peacefully beside me; she’s the third I took home this week. With such entrancingly deep and slow breaths as hers, it’d be hard to imagine even the slightest of desire for her to be elsewhere. As the cool mid-summer breeze intrudes the slightly open windows of my bedroom, her bare body presses passionately up against mine. Embracing her, a suggestive whisper rekindles an ever so recent evening.
Am I happy? Sure.
Two Years Ago – Escalating into an aggressive loud vibration, the energy saver mode of my $35 Craigslist air conditioner resumes to full power..
Attentively flashing for attention, my four year old alarm clock displays an inaccurate time of 2:03pm. The power had gone out while I was online, gaming, during last night’s house party. I hadn’t even bothered to correct the time. It’s nearing the end of the afternoon as I roll out of bed. Surrounding my desk are empty soda bottles, my source of late night energy. A month to go before I join the real world, I am currently in the longest break I’ve ever had since starting college. Without a damn thing to do, time sure seems so plentiful.
Was I happy then? Most definitely.
“Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.”
- Quoted from: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness
A recent article featured in The Atlantic, an editorial magazine, claimed to have found the source of all human happiness: love. Irrefutable evidence for sure, right? I mean, heck – close to a century of Harvard research led by the Director for the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard University himself, George Vaillant! How could you possibly dissent such reputable facts? Written by Joshua Shenk, the article struggles to summarize the most fascinating of Vaillant’s case studies to answer the question: What Makes Us Happy?
Happiness is an innate human emotion which is accessible to us the minute we are brought into this world. It is based on a set of criteria we set for ourselves which make us comfortable and content with our current environment.
We are born happy with no grandiose image of ourselves; sometimes smiling without even knowing why. Adults often times feel nostalgic over their childhood because of this. Now, how difficult is that to achieve again? By society and the environment around us, we are constantly presented with new criterion for happiness. Already achievable pleasures become outweighed by the thought of a potentially greater level of happiness. Through this social conditioning, we are placed onto hedonic treadmills towards the next best alternative.
“The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another.”
- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
A life of chasing after dreams: Learn to walk. Recite the alphabet. Make some friends. Finish grade school. Get a college degree. Find a reliable job. Get married. Start a family. Get promoted. Build your 401k. Retire. Great, now what? What’s next? Nicer clothes? Hotter girlfriend? Sharper television? Better furniture? Luxury car? Bigger house? More property? Maybe even a boat. IT NEVER ENDS. But when we do, will we truly be happier? Compared to what? The grass will always be greener on the other side. Happiness is subjective to its boundaries.
Is there such thing as a greater level of happiness?
The acceptance of the Nobel Prize, an award conveying true social prestige. The breakthrough moment for a scientist who decodes the genetic mystery of a previously incurable human epidemic. An aspiring Buddhist who reaches the final level of enlightenment necessary to become a monastic. Receiving the acceptance call for a well-paid job during a time of economic hardship. That first bite into a meal after a long drawn out wait in hunger. Without getting too much into the philosophical discussion on the many pathways to happiness, it is clear that happiness is achievable in many forms.
If we can already be happy with where we are, why strive?
Striving for happiness and striving in life are two different. An enlightened sense of happiness occurs when we are capable of accepting the current condition of the environment and having faith in our ability to handle all that’s ahead. Striving for goals in life is about taking the journey; for the experience. As we are all bound by the fate of death, life can be seen as an arena for heroism. Self-fabricated immortality can be achieved by the offering of value to society so significant, that it will be remembered across many generations.
The end result is anti-climatic. Life is about the journey.
Do not seek happiness in the future. Happiness is now!
Happiness is love; the love for life.
Human thought and rationalization has truly muddled the definition of love. Passion, deep affection, warm personal attachment, sexual desire, sexual intercourse, a strong embrace, etc.. are some of the words found to describe it. There are entire sections of bookstores dedicated to defining it to its fullest. Philosophers spent their entire lives contemplating on the perfect metaphor of it. But, you know what? It’s not as complicated as we make of it.
Love is universal. And very dynamic. It transcends across societies, race, sex, generations, and even intellect. It is even possible to love without an intellectual cause. Is it fair to label the interaction between a mother fox and her young as “loveless” because the lack of intellect? Absolutely not.
Simply put: Love is the condition in which the happiness of another is essential to your own.
“Love suffers long, and is kind. Love never fails.
There was a moth once who lived in a forest. Every night she flew to a clearing where a cabin stood, in which a hermit lived. The hermit spent night after night reading by the light that came from the flame in the lamp. The flame was covered with the glass lampshade. The moth fell in love with the flame. The invisible barrier of the glass lampshade separated the moth from her beloved, the flame. So the moth spent night after night beating her wings against the glass lampshade till morning. Other moths in the forest could not understand such passion. Look at yourself, you are all banged up, who needs love like that, they said laughing to the moth in love. But she never listened to them, and flew to the clearing again as the dusk fell. Then one day as she was beating her wings against the glass, the lampshade shattered. The moth flew straight into the flame, and she became the flame. The perfect unity of the lovers had been achieved.
Love is an activity, not an emotional state.
I think to love a woman means to take action motivated by my wish to make her happy, on her own terms. She is a human being, she has her own idea of happiness, based on her experience. She might have the wrong idea from my point of view, and I might do something kind to convince her that my idea of happiness would be better for her – and yet ultimately she is the one who has to decide what happiness means for her. She makes the choice what she wants her life to be like.
It is not possible to own a human being. Attachment is neurotic and destructive.
Compassion, emotional generosity, kindness are creative.
If I love a woman, I want her to be happy. But she chooses her happiness. If she is happy with me, my love is fulfilled. If she is truly happy without me – or with someone other than me – my love is fulfilled.
That is what love is all about.”
Quoted from D. Vorontzov.