Chapter 192 Our Rockstars Have a Far Worse Life than You. Please don’t insult yourself by comparing yourself to Them, and “gasp”…wanting to BE them. Case #1: Axl Rose

One of the songs that I fancy a bit because of the funny music video is “I Wanna Be a Rock Star” by a Canadian rock band named Nickelback.  I thought about whether the lyrics prove true, but after a very brief rumination, concluded that the evidence proves the song title is just false.  Anyone who would watch the “Behind the Music” episodes on VH1 would note and extrapolate that virtually EVERY SINGLE band has/had serious troubles emotionally, physically, and financially.  I have JUST read about a 90’s R&B singer named Brandy who, despite her fame and success, admitted she was the unhappiest teenager in the world.  After their successful world tour, Bon Jovi’s band members were so exhausted and felt so utterly bored.  Don’t just take my word for it, pick up ANY book at your local bookstore autobiographies or biographies about these “rock stars” and how 99% of them ended up with serious drug abuse, financial bankruptcy, suicide, mental problems, and so many divorces where their marriages lasted longer than a carton of milk in the fridge.

The singer I was just now reading about that old fart Axl Rose who is so stuck up on himself and his still giant ego (why it continues is a mystery, as he has not had a “hit” song in nearly two decades), that he could not attend the induction to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for his once great band, “Guns n Roses”.  Back in the 1980s, after a few “good years”, his ego got the better of him and he fired (after getting control of the rights and the name) all of his band members including his band’s key to success, the guitarist “Slash”.  Who in the heck does that?  That is like a farmer who gets annoyed for some reason and brings out a shotgun and takes down his prized cow, all his hens, and then burns down the farm his cornfields. Dude is a giant Man-child, seriously.

His new album, which I admittedly sampled on, “Chinese Democracy” was so bad (does anyone have a “cluster”?), I had to vomit a little in my mouth.  After he does such stupid things like firing his band members, getting arrested for inciting riots, and savagely breaking off his relationship with a famous supermodel, he still continues to blame the world and everyone…except himself.  Maybe, before taking care of his pills and booze addictions, he needs to try to take the “douche” out of himself…This is just one out of a million (ironically, one of his most egotistic, racist rant songs) things that “rock stars” do and what their lives entail.  Don’t be allured by the superficial.  Get to know the details, not just what your mind figures is true.  Not your fantasies.   Autobiographies and biographies by reputable sources all point to the tragedy that is being a “rock star”.  Any happiness they gain is followed by the same degree of accompanying pain.  We spoke about that in earlier chapters.  As we wrote, “change” is the one thing that doesn’t change.  In music as in Hollywood you are only as great as your last song/movie.  Fame is the most fickle thing of all.  The public’s estimation and desires change, and today’s rock stars will be found shortly in the $1.00 bargain bin at your local Walmart store.  Just beginning a list of the resulting life sufferings “rock stars” of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston… so numerous to list, it is like naming all of the constellations in the sky.

One of the true logical reason that happiness is not found there–that is associated with rock stars– is that they becoming so accustomed to their newfound “fame” and “money”.  There is a psychological phenomena called “habituation” that is ever present in the minds of all human beings, as verified in lab studies.  The new desirable fleeting fame and money…they get so used to it, that they often become bored, if not annoyed.  The tragic life of Whitney Houston shows just that… just like the aforementioned Katy Perry, she found that singing was “just not fun” anymore.  They get so used to an extravagant lifestyle that once the money runs out, and the fame winds down, they cannot accept the new reality.  Their HUGE egos now must drop down to earth, and this cannot be done without the fire from depression and pain.  As we discussed, once expectations are so lofty that they cannot be balanced with reality, deep suffering results.

So either they get bored and turn to drugs, or they burn through their cash at an alarming rate into financial destitution, or they end up in the nuthouse, they become “estranged” from their families, and loneliness often drives them to suicide or seclusion.

After some life learning, if I suddenly aquired a gift of playing the guitar, I’d stick only to playing in my church.  If I got some new desires to “make it big” like a MTV rock star, I’d quicly smash the guitar to smithereens.

Perhaps the correct name of the Nickelback song should be “I DON’T Wanna Be a Rock Star”…


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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