Throughout my travels, the most miserable people I’ve ever known have been the successful and wannabe-successful. Some of whom I’ve met since coming to Los Angeles in early 2014. By contrast, the happiest people I’ve met have lived modest lives in Southeast Asian countries or even poorer parts of Europe.
Trying to make sense of the world can be difficult, especially when you realize how backwards people’s priorities are.
If you live and breathe in Western culture, I promise that you are being subjected to a socially constructed myth that you’re either “working and paying your dues”, or you’re “being lazy”. There’s no in-between. Enjoyment is greedy, work is good.
Unrealistically beautiful people. A glamorous lifestyle you can never achieve. These are the images the media sends us all the time. It’s a carefully constructed hyper-reality which tugs at our desires of who we want to be. The people are usually airbrushed to perfection, and the lifestyles appear equal parts pretentious and exclusive, yet also fun and without the drama or problems we incur in real-life. How can that be?
The game of life, especially in America, is work like a horse to 60 or 65, and then you get your “reward” of work-free existence. You go spend your remaining days at a country club retirement home, playing golf and gossiping about people at morning brunch. Or sometimes you go on a cruise where you can gossip about people at morning brunch while overlooking the Caiman islands.
People frequently use the word, but they don’t understand what it means. From a literal Buddhist perspective we would be delving into subjects like reincarnation, deeds done in past lives, and a lot of other stuff which I frankly don’t care very much about. I don’t have any disrespect against those of this faith, but I don’t believe in karma in this sense.
In the previous article, I discussed the “why” of self conscious behavior, plus the characteristics of it. As previously mentioned, this is a very common problem among people of all ages. While this blog is not a substitute for professional help, the following pieces of advice are my personal methods and ideas for pushing the tide against your self conscious issues.
(Note: an excessive amount of self conscious feelings could be symptoms of an anxiety disorder where you may need to seek professional help not found on this blog). There is no “cure all” to feeling self conscious, and most people experience it quite routinely. My definition is “feeling uneasy about yourself in relation to others, and the world around you,” and the terminology literally describes the phenomenon: you’re thinking excessively about yourself, versus living in the moment. Self consciousness seems to dissipate with age and experience, hence why teens have it the worst. Although, I believe it never goes away for some people, and it goes hand-in-hand with the insecure behavior that both adults and teens exhibit.
Unfortunately, motivation is an easily traded commodity. It’s easy to feel motivated, and it’s even an adrenaline rush. It feels good taking action and going through a period of euphoric release as you get things done. Especially if you make a series of resolutions which you know will benefit your life. You’ll feel energized as you begin the process of redefining yourself.
This is a big concept, so I hope you’re sitting down.
Why do you really want to accomplish the things on your goal-list?
Why do you want these fantasies to become reality?
“The unexamined life is not worth living,” – Socrates
“Know thyself” – Socrates, Pythagoras, Chilon of Sparta