Dr. Laura Schlessinger continues in her letter of advice to James Harmon for Harmon’s book, Take My Advice, and writes, “Life is not about personal aggrandizement, acquisition, and self-fulfillment. In other words, man cannot live by “me, me, me,” alone.” In this passage Dr. Schlessinger is writing about having a full and meaningful life, and she explains that a life focused on ones own personal existence, having lots of things, or always having fun does not translate into a meaningful life. It is difficult, but once you begin to understand that life does not have to be a competition to show how successful one can become, you start to feel more attached to the things that you do every day, and you begin to appreciate where you are each moment.
As I have entered the working world out of college, I have had a struggle with trying to identify my goals and understand what success really looks like. On the last episode of the Mindful Creator Podcast host Brett Henley talked to a guest about being confident with oneself and where you are in your journey at whatever point of your journey you find yourself. The guest brought up the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”, and argued that a happier life is one where you give yourself permission to not want the lifestyle that is projected in movies, television shows, and advertisements. The two talked about how liberating, both mentally and economically, freeing yourself from materialistic desires can be.
I think that Dr. Schlessinger would agree with everything the two talked about on the podcast. It is important to be self aware and recognize when you are focusing only on yourself and doing things only for your own personal and materialistic gain. Understanding that you have desires for things and certain lifestyles because you have seen them projected through mass media or across your friend’s Facebook is an important step in realizing how to live a better life. Being continually focused on impressing others with your lifestyle and possessions will place an unfair amount of stress on yourself, and will alienate you from people who you could otherwise share a deep connection with. Learning to be happy with who you are, where you are on your journey, and to drop the pressures from visions of what your life should be will open you up to become a more compassionate person. Beyond that point you become a person who can share more meaningful moments with people around you.