So make the purpose of your life to invite awareness, God, stillness, and truth instead of seeking after peak experiences and material possessions which are so transient. Then, what drives the world (seeking after glory, achievements, misled goals) no longer will drive you. You are present, having awareness, consciousness, and pure love. You are not what society labels you as, i.e. based on your success, achievements, money, and what school your kids went to. You have another choice here. If you attach all your happy moments to things out of your control, then you remain so vulnerable. For example, if all your thoughts and self identification is what school your kids went to, and then your kids decide NOT to go to school, what then?
A huge problem society has of allowing its denizens to achieve inner peace is that society prizes and awards success in its ultimate form. There seems to be no relief for second place. There was a comedy called Talladega Nights which had one of its characters say that “In America, if you are not first, you are last.” This funny line is so very true for our modern society. You routinely see in events like the Olympics the silver medallist crying over the loss of the gold medal, instead of enjoying their great achievement in the silver medal.
Even in the mundane there is meaningless achievements. Even credit cards start with a typical color like “The Blue Card”, then you graduate to “The Silver Card”, and then “The Gold Card”, and then “The Platinum Card”. What will they have next, a “more valuable section” of the Chemical Periodic Table like “The Uranium Card”? It is an endless race to the finish line where there is no visible line.
Society frequently labels a someone by their occupation, so a person echoes that and thinks of who he really is by his occupation (and thus his status in society). He will even make his occupation his last name in the past like Mr. Smith (blacksmith) , Miller, Carter, Fisher, Archer, Cook. And the individual believes in this and makes what society identifies himself with his own thoughts.
He believes his worth is in his occupation and takes either pride or humiliation in this. But this is a problem due to the transience of even putting your hopes on an occupation. When you are doing well and getting promotions and more responsibility, you fancy yourself very highly. But what about when the inevitable layoffs come or your business goes into bankruptcy? There goes your ego, knocking you down.
Say you are in a job with a prestigious aura like being a “doctor” or “lawyer” or a “professor”. And say you lose your medical license, or are disbarred or lose your tenure. Then what are you? Society strips you of the title and your occupation. Then who are you? Are you now a loser? Will you believe in those new negative thoughts? You don’t have to believe in your thoughts that society echoes into your brain.