From the moment we are born we are sold and told a narrative about life.
This narrative is focused on preparing us for a future. A future of what is a successful life.
This story is told to us by everyone. By well-meaning parents, family and friends… Who themselves have all been influenced by the same things we have.
We are told that happiness is material. That success and fulfilment will be yours just if you have the right amount of money in your bank account… specific car… a type of house… the lifestyle of a celebrity.
Just look at pretty much any TV advertisement, it will literally tell you that to be happy, cool or sexually attractive, you should purchase their product. Every major marketing campaign in the world attempt to show you that their product will improve the quality of your life and of how you feel.
You already know the problem… happiness, joy and success don’t come from a store…
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
We have taken what a successful life is and twisted and contorted it into about buying things… the more things we buy, the happier we will be… or so the story goes.
Therefore we need to follow the narrative we are told… Work hard at school to get good exam results, so you can get a good job, which you will have to work long hours and very hard for, so that one day you get a promotion or two, so that you have enough money to buy slightly nicer versions of the things you have.
We spend so much of our lives preparing ourselves for “success”, yet success hasn’t even been defined by us!!
Does the narrative we follow create happiness, joy and fulfilment in our lives? Does happiness come from a job or an amount of money? Does it come from buying a new TV or the latest gadget?
Although a new job, a better car or a bit more money is nice… It doesn’t make me happy long-term.
In fact, I can recall a time my annual earnings were ten times LESS than they are right now… I wasn’t unhappy. If I’m totally honest I felt about as happy as I do now.
I believe that the only place we can find happiness and success is in the here and now.
What is the point of working towards what we are told is success, if it won’t actually create any real fulfilment in your life.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t have goals, they are important. What I am saying is when you are dealing with feelings such as success, happiness and fulfilment, then you shouldn’t hope to find it in a new job, a better car or the latest gadget.
Success is a feeling. You can have that feeling right now, if you choose to.
Rather than chase a narrative that has been sold to you, about how life should be lived; instead ask yourself
“What do I have to do to feel totally and completely fulfilled?”
Yes we need money, but when your time is up… How will you measure your life?
Will the cash in your bank account or the amount of time you immersed yourself in what you loved mean more?