Chapter 182 The Science of Achieving Happiness proves that the Seeking After Money, Power, and Fame are a recipe for an unhappy life.

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.

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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.

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About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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One Response to Chapter 182 The Science of Achieving Happiness proves that the Seeking After Money, Power, and Fame are a recipe for an unhappy life.

  1. Kristopher says:

    I’ve gone ahead and included a link back to your webpage from one of my clientele requesting it. I have used your web page URL: https://equanimityandpeace.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/chapter-182-the-science-of-achieving-happiness-proves-that-the-seeking-after-money-power-and-fame-are-a-recipe-for-an-unhappy-life/ and blog title: Chapter 182 The Science of Achieving Happiness proves that the Seeking After Money, Power, and Fame are a recipe for an unhappy life. | How to Be Happy no Matter What Happens to You to make sure you get the proper anchor text. If you woud like to see where your website link has been placed, please e mail me at: kristopher.fraley@yahoo.de. Many thanks

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