March 3, 2014

What Do I Really Want Monday?

What is the price of 'success'?


"Each one of us has to ask ourselves, What do I really want? 

Do I really want to be Number One? Or do I want to be happy? 

If you want success, you may sacrifice your happiness for it. 

You can become a victim of success, but you can never become a victim of happiness."


Thich Nhat Hanh

9 comments:

  1. I recently searched for "Is life really hard or are people just stupid?" on Google, because since from birth, one hears that life is oh-so-awful and that by working hard - at any job no matter how full of meaningless drudgery it has - one can become successful. The article I happened to click on was one regarding that perhaps not working so much is a benefit, and working smarter is a better path than 'hard' for its own sake, since by chasing success and climbing the ladder, you sacrifice time you could be utilizing with your lover or children or simply relaxing or taking up some sort of new hobby. Almost everyone in the comment section must have read "work less" or "work smart" as "stop working", and the caustic finger-wagging shouted lines like "That's laziness!" or "That's what makes people entitled!" and a lot of it hearkened back to years where people DID have to work hard, such as the turn of the last century. People shouted sour grapes at how convenient The Young have it. Well, what are 30-somethings supposed to do when every major discovery has been done, all the infrastructure has been laid out, and every small consumer good is now made in China? Should we do away with the printing press, the electric sewing machine and the light bulb to make life "hard" by some arbitrary virtue your grandparents had that is now obsolete? Back then, when people invented labor saving devices, they went down in history. Now when someone from my generation does it, they're called lazy by people who didn't have the cleverness to think of it themselves. How this ties into your post is this: I am really getting this vibe that anyone older than people from the millennial generation do not want people like me to be happy. I am 31 and looking for some manner of undemanding part time work and all...ALL...the information I read about regarding job seeking and interviewing has everything to do with kissing ass to be successful and nothing more. It's all corporate advice for corporate people. I have this dread that a lot of people are like this and the likes of me are a rare beast. I want to be happy. Success is subjective and therefore meaningless.

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    1. Anon,

      I agree with everything you said here, and fear that your dread is justified - you are a rare beast. One reason the system wants the masses perpetually busy is so no one does what you are doing - thinking about, questioning, and challenging the status quo.

      But I also believe that things are changing rapidly, partly because of younger generations demanding something better than the current situation that offers "meaningless drudgery" in exchange for meaningless lives.

      The secret is out - our current demeaning, damaging, and degrading methods aren't working, and never have. The global revolt that has been happening for years already will not go away, and neither will the young people that have exposed The Man behind the curtain. It is past time for significant changes in the way we live together.

      Your assessment of the state of things is right on, and I would encourage you with every rebellious cell in my body to continue on your path.

      Thank you for sharing your quest for answers and happiness with us. I am sure it will be fruitful, and quite possibly world-changing.

      Delete
    2. I like this blog post, comments and answers a lot! :)

      Almost all of my life challenges have been about this, about going my own way and its'benefits and costs. I will spare you the extremly long story. To read this blog encourages me every time I stop by. I have a somewhat buried dream of being able to influence others with words to contribute to a different way of thinking when it comes to issues about morally sustainable values in working life. When I recently read my old diaries from the 80's and 90ś I recognized the most common question formulated in all kind of ways : Why can't people just be kind to each other? How hard can it be?

      /Eva

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    3. To Gregg,

      This is the anon you replied to in regards to generational chaos... you are inspirational! Sometimes I get discouraged that I am not doing things properly and that somehow I will be 'forced' to submit..I sit and "hurry up and wait" for the youth to take over faster, because some days it seems like the ...uh....crazy old people are in charge and that will never ever change. I know you are more of a gen X type via year of birth but as an older post on here states, you identify more with millennials and the changes that need to happen all around in this society. They call us entitled.....yeah...entitled to happiness..and it bothers the living poo out of them.

      Your blog has kept me sane, I kid you not.

      ~anon who should really choose a name and reply more often ;)

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    4. Eva,

      We are on the same quest, you and I. The answer (be good to each other) seems so simple and basic, and yet it needs to be taught over and over. And over.

      The Dalai Lama has made the observation that if we all were responsible for ourselves, we wouldn't need police. Most people are so brainwashed with fear and misinformation that they can't conceive of a world so beautiful. Most "clear thinking" individuals will tell you it can't happen. They are wrong.

      Now how can we encourage you to realize your dream? If you have an urge to contribute, contribute you must :) because such a calling can not be ignored. It sounds like you have years of thinking and writing to draw from.

      We need more dreamers sharing their ideas.

      Delete
    5. Anon Who Needs A Name,

      We definitely encourage NBA readers to comment more. I am continually delighted by the group of people from around the world that leave comments. This interaction is the very best thing about writing in this format, and I have learned a great deal from all of you.

      People like yourself that share here give me more hope than just about anything else right now.

      Delete
  2. Anon- Count me as one of the crazy old folk who are hopeful about the future because younger folks like you.

    I don't know one other person in my circle who feels the way that I do, in fact they all think I'm weird. But this blog and hearing from others makes me feel I'm not alone. We're out here, and together we can make a difference!

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    Replies
    1. Miss Marla,

      You are right - we are out here, and we are making a difference. I suspect enough of us are embracing simplicity that the powers that be are feeling threatened. They know changes are coming, and we are hastening that process through the way we live.

      All the scientific evidence is telling us that we need to reduce consumption and energy use, and that denial and delay will only compound the pain and difficulty of making necessary changes.

      It is important that the early adopters of more environmentally appropriate lifestyles stick together because although our numbers may be growing, we still are only a small percentage of the population in North America.

      Linda and I also do not know many people that identify with simple living, making NBA something of a sanctuary for us.

      Delete

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