Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Do you wonder why some people are happier than others? Do you ask yourself, "how can I be happier?" Do you wish things would get better? I might have an idea as to what could possibly going on here. It's such a hard thing to tackle for every individual case because of precisely that. We're all individuals having a subjective experience. That is why there's no single way to address all of these issues in society.
I know one of the biggest things that I had to overcome before I could begin to live a happier life was kind of a 2 in 1 type of thing. I was doing one thing as the byproduct of another harmful thought pattern that I had developed. I didn't care how I presented myself as long as I presented myself in a way that I would have the friends that I desired, which led to the fact that I learned "the guy with the cool stuff if the guy everyone likes." This way of thinking was very toxic to me, physically and mentally.
Every kid goes through the wanting people to like him stage, but isn't it our duty to grow out of that? I can remember when I was 16, I just got my first vehicle, wondering to myself if I was holding my hand on the steering wheel enough to reach "maximum cool." I remember a decade later or so going to the car dealership and picking out my new truck. One of the first things going through my mind was which one is the coolest (which is fine as long as I'm looking at it as which one is the coolest to myself, not which one is going to turn the most heads). Picking the one that is the coolest vs. the most sufficient one, in most cases is going to cause more significant harm than good.
Generally speaking, most people can't afford the coolest. But guess what, someone that has good credit and can hold down a steady job can maybe not afford the coolest per se, but they can definitely be cooler than without the credit. This has the potential to start a snowball that could take years or possibly lifetimes to mend. You go get a 7-year loan on your new cool car. What happens 4 years later when that car isn't the coolest anymore? You still owe on your old one MORE than what you can sell it for. Never fear, we can get you some more credit, right? All of this senseless money spent all because we wanna impress the person in the other lane at the stoplight that we will never meet.
All of a sudden that new cool car breaks down and you have to pay $4,000 to fix the thing, and your car and house payment come out next week. You can't get a credit card or another loan because you've used up all of your credit. All of this from a tiny thought that was held onto for too long. All the stress starts to build up, and we start wishing we were happier. We start wondering how to get happy. Then we realize we're in a rut and it's going to take actual sacrifice and hard work. We start being very distasteful to the ones around us. Many people become flat out angry.
The number one cause of stress in the United States is money, that's no secret. We have to follow the trail though, it doesn't stop there. Stress causes so much inward discomfort, but it affects our external selves as well. We start getting short with your significant other and or child, We start getting depressed and calling into work, We begin to feel like we're losing everything around us, and We start abusing substances. We start having legitimate physical and mental health issues that are a significant factor in what we see in society as a whole (mass shootings, suicides, hatred, division, homelessness, etc...).
Money is a huge problem with society. I don't have the answer, but I feel like we are causing more harm than good by not doing something, anything. I also know that people not listening to what others have to say, and instead attacking them saying "You just want free stuff,) or saying people belong to the left or the right has to stop. This is bigger than that.
I have now come to realize that the only way to reach "maximum cool" is through myself and my own actions. I enter "maximum cool" by being at peace with my life decisions which is primarily done through understanding right and wrong. It doesn't matter what other people think about us. As long as I am true to myself and I like myself, then the people I need in my life will stay, come, and go. I wholeheartedly believe that with all of my heart. To help eliminate the stresses of money, we have to live inside of our means. We don't need the new cars, we don't need the fancy house, we don't need the latest clothes and fashions, at least not to impress others. If someone can afford to have all of that stuff and not run into money problems, then that's awesome; I'm glad for them. I understand that I cannot, and I feel like it's more important now than ever to be honest with ourselves, that way we can be honest with the rest of the world. We can't wish for things to be better any longer, we have to make them better ourselves, for ourselves, but also for the future.