Success is something we all strive for. It’s something all of us have in common. Our society praises successful people, we look up to people that have succeeded in one area of life or another. According to Carol Dweck, traits aren’t fixed, you can improve if you have the right mindset. The right mindsets can boost or decrease the amount of success you attain.
Scientific research is now showing that changing your routine and getting out of autopilot mode will increase the amount of happiness in your life. So how should we go about doing this? What habits should we change? Let’s realize that the mind can only do one thing at a time. If you’re trying to multitask you’re doing it at the expense of efficiency or because one of the tasks is subconscious.
Mindfulness seems to be a hard task for beginners. Our minds are continuously jumping around from thought to thought, from the past to the future. It seems unnatural and uncomfortable in modern society to live in the moment. It isn’t mainstream(yet!). It’s always more comfortable for us to follow the crowd then to stand out and go against the grain. That’s why one man, Thich Nhat Hanh, created an idea called “A day of Mindfulness”.
Over the course of time it becomes imperative to reevaluate our lifestyles. Asking ourselves what the motives are behind our decisions. To not assume that everyone wants the best for us, instead of simply their company. That men and women alike should be willing to challenge the societal norm in which we live. Not believing that just because the people around us are acting a certain way we should do the same. That happiness does not come from material possessions, but rather from internal processes. Consumerism has put the value of material possessions greater than that of connections, experiences, and the truly important entities of life and reality. —Such has been the cause of suffering and depression in the modern age. Our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, even warned the country about the consequences of consumerism in his speech titled “Crisis of Confidence”. To prove this, let the truth be unraveled through your own experiences and by understanding the real motives behind the large companies in the world.
Consumerism is simply a bunch of businesses trying to make a ton of money by selling us stuff that we don’t need. I believe we are losing control of ourselves. We’ve becoming obsessed with buying stuff, which creates loads of debt Do we really need that much space in a house? Does a nice car, house or watch really make us a better person? Does it really make us happy? We are driven to achieve the American dream, but what is the American dream? A fantasy land in which we own the nicest house, car and material possession in the neighborhood. What if the American dream isn’t my dream? Then am I a rebel. Going against what society is telling me. I am just living a life of happiness and mindfulness.
- It has been run by a bunch of CEO’s who only care about money.
- It has tricked people into thinking they have a void that can only be filled with stuff
- It has destroyed nature in order to run manufacturing plants that are horrible for the environment
- It has increased overall debt in developed countries by persuading people to buy a house that they will work their whole lives to pay off.
- It has created an economy dependent on consumerism
- It has created a need for compulsory consumption, in which people shop just to shop.
- It has created greed as a value of the American people. Making money the prime focus in life.
- It has made it hard for people to live in the moment, everyone is always daydreaming about a material possession that they want
- For decreasing my overall wellbeing, and making me more depressed, angry, and hopeless than ever before.
- For creating a dependence on money
- For ruining the environment
- For creating an illusion of a gaping void and a need for material possession that won’t even make me happy
- For creating sickness and unhealthy eating by valuing and advertising junk food on every corner of every city.
- For making me discontent with who I am
- For making me value self indulgence and stimulation
- For making me value what I own over what I accomplish in life
I tried to obtain my independence peacefully through mindfulness, minimalism, and meditation. I starting eliminating all the excess material possessions in my life. I began living in the moment and unhooking from stimulation and constant advertisements. But overall, you came out on top. Constantly bombarding me with advertisement and false hopes. Therefore, I ought to be free and detached from the false hope that you’re offering me. I will act on my own, free of debt, wanting stuff, and living a depressing, hopeless life. I pledge to be free, happy, mindful, and living everyday to its fullest without the interruptions of your institution.
Ethan Nelson (“The Mindful Young Man”)
This post is merely an essay that I had to write in school. The point of the essay was to write a mock declaration of independence against a person or institution. I chose the institution of consumerism and here is my article.
When learning about new things and gaining knowledge our minds tend to get in the way. We tend to have preconceived notions and biases towards one point or another. Whatever stance you take on an argument, you’re still hindered by your single sided approach.
It’s very easy to be worried or anxious about what you aren’t doing at the present moment. There are about a million things that you could be doing at this present moment. If you pass up an option you will probably feel regret and remorse. Doing so takes us away from the preset moment and into a world of thought. Trying to think through every option and justify our own current situation. Continue reading “How to make confident decisions”
In many cases, if not all cases, the future of a kids’ life depends on the values they were taught as a child. This determines the mindset of the child about how to approach life, but parents can also determine the career field.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” -Jim Carrey
Happiness is right in front of our eyes. It is staring us in the face, but we’re so distracted with life that we become depressed, angry, dissatisfied and much more. We’re chasing the American Dream, but the American Dream is not my dream. It limits our happiness to material possessions and creates a faint light in the distance. It always keeps us waiting for something. Waiting for the right moment to be happy. For some it’s the weekend, for others it’s the next vacation and for most it is retirement. Yet we always find some way to put off our Happiness.
As a teenager I am asking myself, do I really want to travel down this road. There has to be some other way, a different road to happiness. Just think about the quote by Jim Carrey above, being successful doesn’t make you happy. It merely gives you a burst of excitement that last for a week at the most and then dissipates at the blink of an eye. Nothing lasts forever, at least nothing that we’re currently chasing.
There is some other way. It’s about embracing the moment. Embracing what’s right in front of you. Sometimes we just need some alone time to sit and embrace the present moment. Listen to the bird’s chirp, or the wind rustle. Feel the sensations streaming throughout your body. They can bring you a sense of inner satisfaction that you’ve never felt before.
This is something that you can always lean back on. Through the good and the bad times. Through the up’s and the down’s. If practiced correctly, it can bring you lasting happiness in your life.
So Embrace the Moment. Don’t run from it.
The first step to a happier, more mindful life is this: find time throughout your day to relax and forget about all your worries. Become your senses. Embrace the sights, sounds, aromas, and internal feelings of the present moment.
I often here the phrase “Life’s too Short, so go Live it”, or “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act Accordingly” in one way or another. The real question is, what should I act on? What if I don’t know what is important to me.
Everyday many people make excuses about not having enough time to do what they want in their life. They’re making comments about why they have no control of their life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter what situation you’re in you can find time to do whatever you want.