The proof “is in the pudding”, The Science of Happiness, and all the statistical evidence demonstrate that seeking after money, power, fame, appearance, and the like never result in lasting contentment and equanimity. Rather, it leads to the opposite emotions… unhappiness, desperation, frustration, and dissatisfaction. How many such famous, young, rich, powerful personalities were gifted with lasting joy and bliss. All you end up seeing in a few years are drug addictions and bankruptcies and psychiatrist diseases such as anxiety and depression.
If you embrace these qualities, again you are “looking for the corner in a round room” and trying to finish a “race” on a running treadmill. This “disease of more”…it cannot be reached or done. As we learned before about money and power, all of history points to the dilemma of this avenue of chase. Napoleon sought the money and power of Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar sought the money and power of Alexander the Great, and Alexander the Great sought the money and power of Hercules…who did not even exist.
Also the chasing after fleeting qualities like money and fame and appearance are doomed endeavors. We have proved this with scientific data rooted in statistics from psychological studies. Money will come into your life and go (business cycles always have a recession following an expansion), and a rich person only is concerned with making more money. A brush with fame and you will seek only after more notoriety. Another person will become famous and leave you among the unknown, and all youthful physical appearances will fade. There has never been a woman (or man) to escape the consequences of old age no matter how many baths with virgin blood that they bathed in. No surgeries or magical crèmes have let a man or woman stay looking eternally youthful. Rather, those solutions only succeeded in making those who partake looking even worse than aging gracefully.
An actress named Sarah Jessica Park wrote about this dilemma of growing older as a crisis. She referred herself as a “wilting flower”, but admitted that seeking after plastic surgeries would leave her looking like a monster. Another actress referred to her own aging as a “quiet mourning” and yet another actress Courtney Cox said she “took down” all the mirrors in her home. The addiction to looking young and beautiful forever…it is a hopeless endeavor, and yet people persist on allowing their happiness to be dependent on hopeless fiction. There is no exception to this, but yet Americans, and most of the modern world still hold onto the seeking after such trivialities as divine trophies that should somehow leave them breathless with excitement forever. Let me emphasize that it never works…ever.
Recall that nature and the Universe is very fair. You will have an equal downside to every upside. You cannot have pleasures without pain. You cannot have happiness never interrupted by unhappiness. But seeking after Enlightenment and peace and bliss, which do not have opposing negative parallel experiences are largely ignored.
It seems only after considerable fighting with oneself (and the relentless passage of time) that people realize those qualities that they searched in vain for will yield no fruit…yet they paid a heavy price, passed through costly tolls in order to continue on the chase. Like a moth obsessed by the fire, they continue on.
For an obscene example, have people noticed how famous celebrities who have done far too much tanning, plastic surgery, botox, and other technique? Most observes cruelly, yet truthfully, see the results and exclaim them in derision to their followers. Those actresses who pump up their lips with fillers end up looking like a duck and the endless botox leave themselves unable to even smile. The constant tanning in their older ages left them with skin that looks like leather (and even skin cancer). And many, since they are averse to employment and are attention seeking, find themselves in opposition to the law as well, as mugshots of their exploits are plastered all over the Internet. Yet they persist in vain down the road towards unhappiness, generation after generation.
You cannot have 90% happiness and only 10% unhappiness. It will balance out to 50/50 in the long run. It is just like a door that swings open. One side of the door says “push” and the other side of the same door has “pull”. Happiness and unhappiness are no different. Why not at least endeavor to transcend the fruitless seeking and rather search for truth and bliss? That is the direction that society and the individual should run to, but if everything you see around you is immersed in the opposite, it takes a strong soul to resist the imaginary transient trophies presented in front of them. Americans, and the modern world, must drop all the superficial qualities that drive them towards enhancing their “egos”, and embrace the qualities that enliven and strengthen their “souls”. Jesus Christ and all the wise men throughout time knew the truth of this and denounced power and money, yet society is still intoxicated with the wrong ideals.
The priority should be inner peace, not trying to fulfill your biggest dreams. There is a saying, “when the dream collapses, the biggest dreamers fall the hardest.” Therefore, appreciate that limitless optimism breeds endless frustration. Keep your goals in the “realistic” category, and your sense of accomplishments fulfilled will stay in the positive range…as well as your level of contentment, peace, and equanimity.