It's easy to see how the need for physical and material possessions can ruin a person's life. It doesn't take much mental processing power to figure out how desiring more, more and more can put you in some short of existential or emotional hole. You have to fit the right thing, you have to mix and match correctly.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where we have collapsed our hierarchy of values into the material things. That's just a fancy way of saying that our possessions possess us. People think that being rich means living better. They have the capacity to make things happen. They have the ability, they seem to be more competent.
It's not uncommon for people to think that since this stuff is so expensive then this means that this person is more valuable. It brings more value to their lives. This possession is a gateway of meaning to their lives. They just need to put together enough green pieces of paper and they too, could have that value and meaning.
In other words, the possession has possessed the owner because everybody seems to buy into this symbology. Just because you're competent doesn't mean you're a moral or upright person. We live in a world where virtue is collapsed with material wealth, or the ability to get material wealth.
You might be doing this right here, right now. Stop yourself in your train of thought. Do you think that just because you don't drive a BMW, you're a less of a person? Do you think if you drive around a beat up Toyota that's 20 years old, your life is of lower value?
Welcome to the world of reputation. Just as people make instant judgments regarding each other’s level of competence and worth based on the outward symbols they have-their possessions-people also size each other up by their reputation. In fact, people are often lazy when it comes to figuring people out for themselves. They are too ready to rely on what other people have said about the person they are trying to size up.
When you rely on someone else’s reputation to come up with your own impression of that person, you are being lazy. Sadly, most people are lazy on an intellectual level. They don’t want to deal with first principles. They don’t want to figure out others based on their actual experiences with them.
Knowing that this is how most people ‘process’ others, it’s not surprise that too many of us are scared stiff about our reputation. We worry about making the right impression or saying and doing the right things at the right time. This is actually the worst form of worrying about your ‘possessions.’
If you feel that your possessions have reached the point where you are possessed by them and this has thrown your life off-balanced, I've got some great news for you. The concept of wholeness can get your life back on track. By understanding how different aspects make you uniquely you, you can start taking control over your life.
You can use the realization that maybe the huge credit card bill statements at the end of the month is a warning sign that can wake you up. Click here to how you can retake control of your life. Your possessions do not necessarily have to possess you.
In a recent study, behavioral psychologist studied the impact of certain purchases on people's serotonin levels. This is a great study because people can always lie.
Somebody bought a car that cost him two hundred thousand dollars, he can tell you, "Hey, I'm happy I bought this car."
It is hard to fake serotonin levels. That person who bought the two hundred thousand dollar car may be making a big deal that he is happy but deep down inside he's worried about his car being stolen or getting all the money together.
Who knows what's going on in his mind but serotonin levels in blood test do not lie and yes, the Science is in. Buying stuff does make you happy but the problem is it doesn't last. You get caught in this endless spiral of wanting to buy more stuff to get that initial rush. Unfortunately, you can't just buy the exact same item.
That is not going to work. Interestingly enough, according to the study, when you buy experiences, the happiness lasts much longer. At the very least, the experience of newness, adventure, and curiosity lasts for weeks if not months. Some can even last years. In certain cases, it lasts forever.
Does that trip to the great wall of China really impact people's lives that fundamentally? Is going to Paris for two weeks or seeing the Colosseum in Rome that life-changing? Well, travel is able to deliver a sense of happiness and contentment not because you spent a lot of money. It is the experience.
You get from Point A to Point B and you become a different person. You break out from your shell, you put yourself in a position to explore things with a fresh set of eyes. When you’re traveling your expectations change. You are more likely to set aside your old tired assumptions and position yourself to absorb what life has to give on an immediate and raw basis. You allow this new experiences to impact the many aspects of what makes you who you are.
There are certain psychological inputs that you're aware of, there are emotional stimuli during the trip. You eat different foods and you see different things. Your whole consciousness and being that make up who you are, are engaged.
That's what happens in travel. So that happiness study that seems to suggest that when you buy experiences in the form of travel, you can be actually be happier for a longer period of time arrives at the wrong conclusion. It's not the money, it is the experience.
Understand the truth behind this. Even if you have only a dollar to your name, you can buy experience. You can allow yourself to use that money as a gateway to open up to what the world has to offer. In fact, if you train yourself well enough, you don't even need that money. That's just a catalyst.
You can just choose to live life, to live every morning, welcome every new day with a fresh set of eyes and with a fresh new heart. Click here to learn how to do exactly that.
How do you know if your life is off-balanced? There are actually quite a number of signs. The problem is not the absence of these signs or indicators but our willingness to perceive them.
Just as people can continuously drive over a bridge that's showing many small cracks, people can continue to live their lives even though there are signs of an emotional, psychological and spiritual breakdown in the works. It is really sad that people only sit up and pay attention when it's too late.
We have the same attitude when it comes to our mental, emotional and psychological well-being. These are all wrapped together, flow together, inform each other and fall under the general heading of personal spirituality. It really is too bad because the signs are everywhere, you just need to open your eyes to them.
Believe it or not, the most common sign that your life may be off balance in a very significant and fundamental way involves your vacation time. If you haven't taken a vacation or even opted for a long weekend since forever, you might want to slow down and ask yourself, "Why don't I take a vacation? Is it because I can't afford it?"
If you're really honest with yourself, there's very little you cannot afford. Thanks to credit cards, and thanks to the concept of saving, you can pretty much afford a significant chunk of what life has to offer. So it's not that. The real issue is you are unwilling to spend something other than money. I'm talking about your time.
You may be caught up in this emotional treadmill of aiming to get more and more stuff, to get higher and higher in hierarchy that you lose sight of the big picture. What's the point of gaining everything when you lose everything at the end?
That's precisely what's happening when you're on that treadmill. You keep saying to yourself, "Well, I'm not taking a vacation now because I'm getting ready for that ultimate vacation, I'm getting ready for early retirement, I'm building stuff and I'm sacrificing for a much better life." This is a serious sign.
Your life is completely off-balance because most people look forward to vacations, most people prize vacations and the fact that you won't even take long weekends speaks volumes to how much your values have gone off tract. You might want to step back and look at this as a dangerous sign.
Ignore that signal, and you only have yourself to blame when significant areas of your life truly cave in. You may be in serious trouble. To see how you can take practical steps, to regain control over the important areas of your life, click here.
You have to remember that your personal happiness is your responsibility. You cannot ignore this responsibility. You cannot sweep it under garage. You have to always take ownership of it and incorporate it into your daily decisions. It doesn't take much to live a balance life. Click here to find out how.
Have you ever sat down and just chilled out for a whole day? I'm not talking about playing a video game or watching stuff on Youtube, but just completely chilling out: possibly outdoors checking out some natural landscape or natural features, sitting down on a bench, watching the sunset. Have you ever done that?
If you had, and you're completely honest with yourself, don't be surprised if you come to the conclusion that there's something off your life, something doesn't feel right. You can't quite point what it is but you think that there's something missing.
You may be doing well enough at work, bills are getting paid, your mortgage is covered month after month, the kids are doing well enough from school, you can buy whatever you want, your debts are manageable, you rarely freak out when you get your credit card balance at the end of the month, but regardless of these, something seems missing.
You might want to consider emotional wholeness. You have to understand that the sense of contentment is an art. A lot of people think that contentment is some sort of product that can be bought. When we buy stuff that's worth a lot of money, that item is more valuable. If you are able to afford something that other people desire, you must be important enough.
We got so caught up in the outer indicators of value that we have lost sight of value itself. We are so caught up in buying contentment through getting more and more stuff that we confused value with price; possessions with being. Not surprisingly, many of us find ourselves in a situation where the more we buy, the less complete we feel.
It's not suppose to work this way. Wholeness enables you to occupy the moment. There's no need to explain; there's no need to be somebody that you're not; there's no need to make excuses; there's nothing to worry about. The past is the past, the future is yet to happen and here you are, in the moment, enjoying it and being in it.
The problem is we have lost sight of the concept of wholeness, we are so bombarded with so many different signals that throw us off the whole concept of wholeness. We've reached the point where most of us have forgotten the whole idea of wholeness.
Maybe, if we buy enough stuff, contentment and wholeness will come in. Maybe if we live in a big enough place, this will kick in. Again, this is just in the back section of your mind. this is real. This is the kind of emotional treadmill we find ourselves in. The more we buy, the more we consume, the more we burn out.
Invest in the way out
Instead of running yourself ragged on a treadmill, has it occurred to you that maybe, you can make things easier on yourself by just getting off the treadmill? Yes, you're supposed to level up until you breakthrough and get the prize. That's how it's marketed, at least.
You might want to reconsider the power of stopping and the power of the infinite now. Click here to learn more about emotional wholeness and how you can achieve it using practical steps.
If you are at a campsite and if you want your barbecue pit to heat up very quickly, the last thing you'd probably think of doing is to pump a huge amount of flammable liquid on it. If you're a responsible camper and know your way around your barbecue pit, you would layer on twigs and other twigs and branches and put logs on top. That's how you manage the fire.
Unfortunately, such long-term thinking is not rewarded by the modern world. We want the best the world has to offer right here, right now. That's how much of a rush we're in, not surprisingly, we believe that the more we have, the more valuable our lives become.
We have completely erased the wall between value and price. We size each other up based on how much stuff or rights to stuff we have. We create this mental hierarchy and people with the most things are at the top. In the west, a significant amount of people kill themselves every single year.
This is quite shocking because they are all provided for, they are not starving in the streets, and they have more than enough to eat. People are eating and living better now than ever in history, yet people are still killing themselves. This is not only about official suicides. There are other ways to measure suicide.
Other ways people kill themselves are through drunk driving, drug abuse, and accidental overdose. The more stuff you have, doesn't necessarily mean the more you've become. These are two totally different things and two totally different tracts. Sadly, modern society teaches us that they are one and the same.
You are worth more than the sum of the stuff that you consume. You are worth more than the status people accord you. It is also surprise that people live broken and empty lives because they are trapped in this endless spiral of more, more and more.
The more they eat, the hungrier they become. The more they drink, the thirstier they become. The more money they have, the poorer they feel. This applies across the board. Thankfully, there is a way out.
The possible solution
What is the way out? Well, instead of more, more, more; why not focus on less, less, less. Learn to let go. Focus on what you already have and learn to love what you already possess instead of beating yourself up desiring stuff you don't currently have. The old Zen Buddhist Maxim quote "less is more", is more relevant now than ever, at least to the west.
If you believe that your life is missing something or you're living an empty life, you might want to rediscover the concept of wholeness. You are more than just a consumption machine. You are more than just a demographic statistic that is supposed to be marketed to. You are more than your ability to make money. You are more than the status people accord you.
By looking at yourself as a self-enclosed whole organism with its own sense, own desire for purpose and meaning, your life and your perception of life starts to change. To get the inside scoop on an alternative path to personal meaning and reality, click here.
We live in a modern world where the world pretty much slices and dices us. Just take a look at how marketing and political persuasion are done.
If you're trying to get some sort of political message across, you dig into the demographic of the audience you're trying to reach: their age range, gender distribution, occupation, and average level of education attainment. These are the types of questions that separate people and put them in a grid. Once you have a clear idea of this grid, you position to address these people on an emotional, personal and financial level.
This makes a lot of sense. Different people with similar intersections of demographic traits do tend to share some similarities regarding political views and social, economic, and political concerns. How can they not? They see certain aspects of reality together. This can lead to the same conclusions. Again, I speak in general terms here. While there are always exceptions to the rule, this is how things normally pan out. People are, by and large, creatures of their experiences. You can never discount the impact of environment on people. While this does not necessarily mean they are totally blank slates, what one experiences through life can and does have a big impact on how that person sees the world and how that person thinks things should be done.
The same applies to marketing. Believe it or not, when you log in to Facebook, it spies on you not only by paying attention to the stuff that you like and the topics that you comment on, but also based on your ad clicks. They then start showing you ads based on its best guess of what you are interested in. This is only possible through a series of highly complicated calculations to show and to get the right ads into the right people.
This is just a symptom of the fact that modern human existence, at least in the western world, is fragmented. It's rare for people to talk about other people as complete individuals. They either referred to a larger group that you're a part of, or based on what you can contribute in terms of one key aspect of your life: your ability to make money, to give of your time, or your talent.
Whatever the case maybe, people don't really consider each other a complete, self-sustaining, integral and comprehensive self-enclosed being. There's a reason why anti-hypertensive, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications are always on the top five of legal prescription drugs year after year in the West. At some level, we are sick, as a society.
This is what wellness and wholeness tries to address. A holistic approach wellness that addresses the whole person. Human beings are unbelievably complex, it goes a long way to truly address the human condition. Isn't it time we start addressing our wellness issues from this perspective?
We have to stop looking at ourselves as some flat, monolithic, one-dimensional cartoon. Unfortunately, that's how the medical industrial complex views human beings. You only need to look at drug addiction rates, drug addiction divorce, suicide and other indices of personal and social dysfunction to see that there is something fundamentally wrong. Wholeness gets to the heart of this. We need it collectively and you need it individually.
What is the number one sin that you could commit that will torpedo your relationships? What kind of action is guaranteed to throw your relationship with other people for a loop? This applies to all types of relationship. It may be a business relationship, an intimate relationship, or your relationship with your family members and close friends. It is guaranteed to cripple your relationship if you do this one thing.
What is this practice that corrodes your ability to connect with people in a deep and meaningful way? You might not think much of it because it seems basic and simple and a lot of people are too quick to dismiss it. A lot of people are even unaware that they are doing this.
Just like with anything else in life, big disasters usually do not happen overnight. Have you ever read about buildings collapsing or bridges giving way? If you read the literature or police reports or news reports on those catastrophes, there is a common thread. Usually, designs are already there but people are just too busy to care. They know that something is off because there are small cracks or there are some indication that the angle of the bridge is not right.
People sit up and pay attention only when it's already too late. That's how the human mind works. With that as a background, the number one practice that is guaranteed to cripple your relationship is the unwillingness to listen. I know, it may seem like a small thing. It might even seem like it is obvious but so many people drop the ball when it comes to this key relationship ability.
Are you really listening?
Do you really listen to people? Be honest. When you talk to somebody, people usually interrupt. They say stuff or try to cover stuff that they want to cover. Then they let the other person talk and butt in to cover the stuff that they want to make. They never really absorb what the other person is saying. They never take the opportunity to learn. Instead of talking and listening, they engage in some sort of verbal ping pong.
There is nothing wrong with metal sharpening metal. That's how we grow as people, grow mentally and become better creatures with cognitive abilities. The problem is we often go through the motions, and we don't really value the conversation for what it is.
When you really listen to somebody, you must assume that they can teach you something. That's the core assumption that you have to go back to and make the centerpiece of your conversation. Otherwise, it's going to be difficult for you to give the kind of respect and importance it needs for it to benefit. You need to remember that, because if you don't assume that you will learn anything from people, it would be very hard for you to listen.
Be honest with yourself. Ask and go back to my central question. Do you really listen? The moment you start rediscovering the art of listening, is the moment you truly reconnect with people.