Destination Disease

The formula is clear: work harder, then you’ll be successful, then you’ll be happier.

A lot of us unknowingly suffer from a disease known as “destination disease”, the most common symptom is the belief that when we achieve a goal, meet the right person, pay off their loans, graduate from school, make a certain amount of money, etc., we will be happy.

“When our happiness is based on a destination or lack there of, we put ourselves in a position where we can never be happy until we “arrive”. – KC Cupp

This disease which disguises itself as the ever tantalizing “bigger, better, and faster” trap, is a tragic way to live. Why? Because bigger, better, and faster are constantly moving.

It actually undermines the development potential because it manipulates you into thinking that you’ll only grow and gain when you arrive at a certain place. Yet the things that add the greatest value to your life and develop the richness of both your personality and potential are found in the process of life.

Well known American novelist, Ursula K Le Guin makes this statement, “It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

In the book The Happiness Advantage” author Shawn Achor explains how he spent over a decade researching at Harvard University, on one of the largest studies of happiness ever completed.

  • One of the key findings in Shawn Achor’s research was that happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
  • This study shows when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, resilient, and productive at work and in life.
  • So our level of happiness and the key to living our best life today comes down to how we internalize our external circumstances.

It’s the old glass half full or half empty syndrome.

The things that add the greatest value to you are found in the process of life.

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Life acts, you react

Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us. The problem is that these reactions might not always be the best course of action, and as a result, they can make others unhappy, make things worse for us, make the situation worse.

We often react without thinking. It’s a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act. Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, compassion, cooperation, etc.

Let’s see whether or not you agree with the following statement.

“You are responsible for all of your experiences of life.”

There is a trick in this statement, it does not say “in life” but “of life.” You are not responsible for everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for how you react to what does happen to you. The formula is that, “Life acts. You react.” Your reaction is under your control.

In any life situation you are always responsible for at least one thing. You are always responsible for the attitude towards the situation in which you find yourself. Your attitude is your reaction to what life hands you. You can have either a more positive or a more negative attitude. Your attitude is under your control and can be changed. With the right attitude you can be a resilient person.

‘Do you have the patience to wait, till your mud settles and the water is clear?
~Lao Tzu

 

Wisdom – Be like the Pencil

be-like-a-pencilThe pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

“There are five things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”

  1. You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.
  2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you will need it to become a better pencil.
  3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
  4. The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
  5. On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in his heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you; always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

  1. You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
  2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.
  3. You will be able to correct mistakes you might make or grow through them.
  4. The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
  5. On every surface you walk, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation.

Everyone is like a pencil… created for a unique and special purpose. By understanding and remembering this, let us proceed with our life by having a meaningful purpose.

Poor People have Big TVs

TL;DR – Basically the whole point of this article is “only stupid people watch reality TV, so stop otherwise you are going to be poor all of your life.”. In other words, reading is more likely to lead to success than TV watching”. To get a true perspective on how to become rich, you must study rich people. After all, you become what you study.

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” – Zig Ziglar

I was reading this article on Entrepreneur.com where author talks about the differences in thoughts and actions between the “rich” and the “poor”. I think the most important part of this article is that the poor people have TV and rich have big libraries, following is an excerpt:

10a. Poor people have big television sets
Poor people take a lot of time to drift off to sporadic images of which they often have little to no control over. They use their free time to avoid the art of thinking (which is the most challenging task) and zone out to what many have conformed to believe is “entertainment.”

10b. Rich people have big libraries
Wealthy people are educated and read a lot of books. They use their knowledge in a way that benefits them. Instead of drifting off in random activities, they seek to get within their minds to understand themselves, others, and the world in which they live. In fact, as your personal library increase over the years, so will your home. I can attest to this!

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253331

Being rich does not mean the guy with a lot of money whose decorative book shelf is just a display of books, which are never read. It’s the people with genuine interest in reading and learning. It implies a person who has worked hard, and achieved true success through perseverance and effort.

Successful people have libraries, the rest have big TVs.
Successful people have libraries, the rest have big TVs.

Time Wasting Habits
The author Thomas C. Corley documented the daily activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 people living in poverty. He discovered there is an immense difference between the habits of the wealthy and the poor. During his research he identified over 200 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” The result of his research can be found in his #1 bestselling book Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals”.

During his research he found that poor people indulge in a lot of time wasting activities like reality-TV and internet etc while rich people spend more time on self-education and skill building. According to his research:

  • Only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, compared to 78% of the poor.
  • 74% of the poor spend more than an hour on internet using things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube. Conversely, 63% of the rich spent less than an hour each day on the Internet. This freed up more time to read for self-education.
  • While many of the poor in his study said they read regularly, 79% admitted that they read strictly for entertainment.
  • Only 11% of the rich said they read for entertainment. Instead, they focused their reading on self-education: biographies of successful individuals, career-related reading, self-help, history and money matters.

When you’re wasting your time watching TV, on social media or reading for entertainment it leaves little time to do productive things like reading to learn, volunteering or building a side business.

Time does not discriminate. Everyone gets twenty four hours, rich or poor. The rich simply choose to spend their time differently, doing things that are productive.

 

LEISURE

I looks like a myth that in the olden days (about 3 decades back) , people used to spend their Free time enjoying the beauty of nature and appreciating the gift of life. There were less things to worry about and even less things to be afraid of.

In those days, people were mostly afraid of their death or the death of loved ones, now we are afraid of loosing job, house or cars.

Everyone is trying to get rich and successful. Let me give an inference from Calvin and Hobbes:

 “I have no idea why human beings have developed all this technology to help them when all it does is make their lives busier. People are less patient now than they used to be 10 years ago. When computers were invented, if someone wanted to have their program executed, they had to use punched cards to have their program written. And very few people had computers, so they used to submit their decks of punched cards in offices that had computers. People had to wait for days to get solutions to their programs. Now that we have developed such high speed computers and super computers, even a few seconds of lag drives us insane. If human beings actually wanted to enjoy leisure, we never would’ve developed these machines. They delude us with the idea of making lives simpler when in reality, they are complicating it even more.”

Calvin-and-Hobbles

We have no time to appreciate this life. We spent a lifetime trying to amass wealth that will last a lifetime. What we fail to realize is that our time in this world is limited. Why not do things that make us happy. Money is a small part of life. Travel, relax, have fun and live life.

It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes. But when you look back everything is different.
— Calvin & Hobbes

The Diderot Effect: There’s more to life than buying stuff

The Diderot Effect term was coined by 18th century French philosopher Denis Diderot who wrote the essay, “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown”. In the essay, he talks about receiving a beautiful new dressing gown as a gift. He loves it, but then he realizes it makes all of his other things look like crap. So what does he do? He goes out and buys new things. Diderot writes:

I was absolute master of my old dressing gown…but I have become a slave to my new one … Beware of the contamination of sudden wealth. The poor man may take his ease without thinking of appearances, but the rich man is always under a strain.

buy-less-buy-better

First world problems, I know. But essentially, this is how lifestyle inflation happens. We get used to having a certain fancy thing, and then we feel compelled to match the rest of our lifestyle to that thing. Most of us have been there.

Simply being aware that this phenomenon exists will probably go a long way toward preventing it. But over at Becoming Minimalist, writer Joshua Becker has a few other suggestions. Here are some of my favorite:

  • Analyze and predict the full cost of future purchases.
    A store may be having a great sale on a new outfit—but if the new outfit compels you to buy a new pair of shoes or handbag to match, it just became a more expensive purchase than originally assumed.
  • Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
    Stop trying to impress others with your stuff and start trying to impress them with your life.
  • Remind yourself that possessions do not define you.
    Abundance of life is not found in the things that you own. Your possessions do not define you or your success—no matter what marketers will try to tell you.
buy less, chose well, make it last. Vivienne Westwood
buy less, chose well, make it last. Vivienne Westwood

Becker offers additional insight on the Diderot Effect over at his blog. Check it out at the link below.
Understanding the Diderot Effect (and How to Overcome It) | Becoming Minimalist

The Diderot Effect

The Diderot Effect is inspired by 18th century French philosopher Denis Diderot’s run-­in with wealth and how he met with problems when he found that his new scarlet robe did not blend in with the poverty ­stricken surroundings of his home.

Denis Diderot as depicted by Louis-Michel van Loo in 1767. In this painting Diderot is wearing a robe similar to the one that prompted his famous essay on the Diderot Effect. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louis-Michel_van_Loo_001.jpg
Denis Diderot as depicted by Louis-Michel van Loo in 1767. In this painting Diderot is wearing a robe similar to the one that prompted his famous essay on the Diderot Effect.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louis-Michel_van_Loo_001.jpg

The Diderot Effect

In the 18th century, a French writer named Denis Diderot received a gift: a beautiful scarlet dressing gown. [Source: Consumption: Disciplinary approaches to consumption by Daniel Miller (page 121)].

The fabric was gorgeous. The colors were rich. The craftsmanship was spectacular.

Diderot immediately threw his tattered old gown away. He didn’t need it anymore. His new gown was breathtaking.

Of course, he needed to make a few extra purchases to accommodate that gown. In the past, if one of his books was covered with dust, he’d simply use his old gown as a rag. But he couldn’t wipe away dust with his beautiful new gown. He’d need to buy some dust rags.

When there was excess ink on his pen, he used his old gown to wipe it clear. He couldn’t do that with the new gown. He’d need to buy handkerchiefs, or perhaps he’d need better pens.

But those are small purchases, right? A small price to pay to maintain such a beautiful gown … right?

Diderot began to notice that the rest of his home looked shabby in comparison to the gown. His drapes were threadbare and faded, in contract to the rich colors of the gown. He’d need to replace them.

He often sat in a straw chair. He didn’t want the gown to snag on the fibers. His gown looked silly on such a cheap old chair, anyway. He bought a chair upholstered in leather, with colors that suited the scarlet tones of his gown.

He spent most of his day sitting at his desk, wearing the gown. But the gown didn’t match the old desk. It would be the 18th­century equivalent of wearing a crisp Armani suit while sitting at a beat-­up desk. So Diderot purchased an expensive new desk.

Once he had that desk, though, his paintings looked amateurish and faded. He needed more exquisite art on his walls, art that matched the desk and drapes.

Soon, Diderot plunged into debt.

Now fast forward to 21st century

We can spot similar behaviors in many other areas of life:

  • Buying a new mobile and then spending money on screen guard, even when the mobile comes with gorilla glass display.
  • After buying a new shirt and now you start disliking your old pants.
  • You buy a new couch and suddenly you’re questioning the layout of your entire living room. Those chairs? That coffee table? That rug? They all got to go.

Inspired by his research on The Diderot Effect, writer and researcher on behavioral psychology, James Clear, explores why we tend to overspend on things we do not need, sharing useful tips on how we can overcome this syndrome.

We have a tendency to want more, we are rarely looking to downgrade, to simplify, to eliminate, to reduce. Our natural inclination is always to accumulate, to add, to upgrade, and to build upon.

So What Happened to Diderot?
Diderot wrote an essay “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown” outlining his regret. His beautiful scarlet gown had become a curse, not a blessing. He missed his faded, tattered robe, he wrote. Its folds fit comfortably around his body. Its dust­ and­ ink stains reflected the life of “a writer, a man who works.”

“I was absolute master of my old dressing gown,” Diderot said, “but I have become a slave to my new one.”

In Diderot’s words, “Let my example teach you a lesson. Poverty has its freedoms; opulence has its obstacles.”

(Opulence: great wealth or luxuriousness)