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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Money = Happieness?

I am being inspired to write this article today by many people I encounter in my life. Be it through social media posts of unhappiness or complaining I hear from people in “real” life.  So being a good friend/person I inquire about the unhappiness in which I encounter. Most times the answers to my question sound like this: “I wish I had more money” or “I need a man/woman(or both haha).” (Disclaimer: The article I am about to write represents my feelings on the issue, Mostly opinion, common sense, my experiences, what I may have encountered in reading or google-ing late at night. So please take it with a grain of salt and I encourage you to not take my word but do your own research.)Image

I will address the money issue today, but I believe there are parallel underlying issues to both money and finding a mate in the pursuit of happiness. So the question comes down to: “Does money really buy happiness?” The great Comedian Daniel Tosh put it so eloquently when he stated:”Money doesn’t buy happiness?! Uh, do you live in America? ‘Cause it buys a WaveRunner. Have you ever seen a sad person on a WaveRunner? Have you? Seriously, have you? Try to frown on a WaveRunner. You can’t! They’re so awesome, it’s just throttle. People smile as they hit the pier.”

While I admit being on a jetski is AWESOME!! But have you ever went out on a jetski by yourself? It’s only fun for so long. Also depending on where you live summers can be short, and a jetski is no good in the winter. Even worse I have seen many jetskis break while people are riding them causing just as much if not more stress and anger than happiness. So, while that is a hilarious bit by Mr. Tosh, it still doesn’t prove that money buys happiness.

I would like to break down what money actually is or represents. Money represents goods and services. I’ll give you a very basic example of how money came about. A long time ago a farmer may have traded his goods with a trapper for some fur or meat. Because the farmer was so busy with his crops he had no time to hunt just as the trapper had no time to farm. It was a great barter system. Then market place came along where many people would come to barter for goods, but some people also offered services such as dentists or black smiths. So they would trade their services for goods in the market place. As mankind progressed the farmers realized sometimes they didn’t need services right away, but the black smiths still needed to eat. So they would make up chits or I.O.U’s thus allowing the black smiths to eat while the farmer could later redeem his chit for services as they were needed. Sounds all nice and dandy!!

Well as the world expanded and empires were formed the market place got much bigger. So coins were formed out of precious metals, ie gold and silver, to represent these goods and services. Then when coins were not enough paper money was invented to represent the precious metals which in turn represented goods and services. Still with me? Today the paper money does not represent gold or silver. We are on a fiat currency system where money is created out of thin air. it is supposed to represent goods and services, however there is a growing imbalance in the system. (For this article I will not dive deeper into that issue, but if you find it interesting please research it and/or comment about it!) So if we break it down even further we can surmise that people who lust after and/or hoard money are actually lusting after and/or hoarding a made up currency which represents goods and services. Which in my opinion is not only terrible for the market place, but not healthy for the human animal.

Now happiness. How important is happiness? Well it’s so important that the founding fathers guaranteed us the pursuit of happiness in the constitution right after Life and Liberty!! Happiness by itself is the most under rated requirement to modern living. Whenever people say: “Be Happy” or “Don’t Worry be Happy” they are often looked at as if they are Hippies. Happiness in today’s society is closely attached to material possessions, money or other people you may desire. This is largely due to the conditioning that we endure from the time we are born. This conditioning usually comes in the form of advertising. We are constantly bombarded with messages to buy and acquire “things.” Simply put happiness in this country is tied in with ownership of new cars, cell phones, iPads, clothing, shoes, etc. I often see the term “Retail Therapy” thrown around. Which when broken down literally means you are achieving happiness through acquiring objects. This is also seen heavily on TV. Generally speaking, no thought is ever seriously given to achieving happiness just for happiness sake.

I admit that I am not immune to this system and I have a closet full of clothes and shoes as well as the newest gadgets to prove it. Yes, it does make me feel happy to buy new things. This happiness fades quickly, however, especially when the latest version of that iPhone or Car comes out on the market! When I actually take time to stop and think about it there is no comparison between this happiness and the happiness that I achieve through healthier avenues. A simple example of this is spending time with true friends and laughing. The kind of laugh that is uncontrollable and you just can’t help but to do. When you are basically crying and can’t breath. This costs no money and has many times the benefits of shopping. How come we are never taught this in school?? There should be a comedy class taught where people are encouraged to laugh and try to make others laugh. Think about how good you feel when you make others laugh by saying or doing something funny. That is true happiness which cannot be bought for any amount of money, precious metals, goods or services!!

In closing I would like to say that deep down most people realize happiness is the key to life, but then life happens. We quickly get wrapped up in the events of our lives. We take our situations and lives too seriously, which defeats the whole purpose of truly enjoying life! So what can we do? Well first off you can start out by laughing more. I try to find the humor in most situations that I am presented with in life. Sometimes the funniest moments are born from the most serious situations. Secondly you can smile more! Yes it is contagious. Lastly to gain more happiness we must let go of fear and hate(yes like a Jedi!). Fear and Hate consume happiness and could consume your life. Next time you feel afraid of something stop and assess the situation(if you can). Say you see a spider, what are you really afraid of? You are 1,000 times bigger than it silly!! Stop it already 🙂 Seriously though whenever you feel hate or fear toward someone stop and ask why do I hate this person? What did they do to me? Most times you have no real concrete reason other than:”well that’s what I was told to do.”

Thank You for reading this, I hope it helps if even in the tiniest way. Comments and discussions are encouraged 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Extinction Level Event, What is Really Going to Kill Us All

Image Well we made it to 2013 and the “End of the World” hype is over. We are officially one month in and the earth as well as the human race is still intact. No asteroids, giant tsunamis, super volcanoes or zombie apocalypses…. Yet!

As a race we humans are obsessed with our own demise. I find it funny how instead of fully enjoying our brief existences on this rock, we are constantly fixated on our own mass destruction. Every few years it seems there is another prediction of doom and gloom on the horizon. The really funny part is that as of now, Yes! We are all going to die!! Maybe not all at once like in the movies, but probably far less glamorously. So I say accept the fact that you are mortal and are going to die!!

This mindset could change your life in a number of ways. First off you may actually live LONGER. You say:”But Brandon how does that even make sense???” Well the stress of constantly worrying about death and what could go wrong is killing you!! Yes, stress is terrible for you and you heart!! I am told that Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in this country(which is actually a blessing that in this country most of us live long enough for our hearts to go, but that’s another story). So when you are stressed your body goes into a primitive defense mode, changing your heart beat which turns out is terrible for your heart.

It’s not you fault though. Not yet, but after you read this article it will be so you may want to stop here…..

Still with me? You sure?? OK Good!

**Disclaimer**: What i am about to talk about is purely the way I feel. I have done some independent Google research, but most is based on a mixture of very deep thinking and common sense.

The reason I say it’s not your fault that you experience these high levels of stress in your every day life are as follows. In this country we are conditioned with fear from birth. Everyone tells us: “You better not do that or else!” Everyone such as: parents, relatives, teachers, religious books and figures, etc. When we get older we(most of us) become television dependent. TV in small doses is fine, but too much of anything will hurt you. On TV there are many causes of stress which you don’t even realize. I’ll talk about two big ones here. First is the News. Some of us feel it’s our duty to be as informed as humanly possible about every thing that is happening on the planet! You say:”Why is this a bad thing?” Well I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be informed, however information overload can be dangerous. Also the mainstream media’s main tool is FEAR. They mostly tell you about the bad, scary, evil side of things. There are several theories on why they do this: ratings, money, government control. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. This fear, among other things, causes a lot of worrying which causes stress.

The other stress TV brings to our lives is caused by feelings of inadequacy. You see people on TV looking perfect: Tan fit bodies, perfect teeth. They have new clothes, cars, houses, jewelry, etc. These people are always involved in some sort of drama or epic event. After years of subjecting your brain to this stimuli you may start to think that is how life is supposed to be. You compare your life to that of the “TV life” and may feel that your life comes up short. Then comes the worrying about money, image, fashion, popularity. All this worrying about “fitting in” causes tremendous amounts of stress.

So now you know and you can’t “un”know it!! It’s up to you now to be proactive in your own life and cut out the stress. My advice to combat any type of stress would be to take some alone time. Write down what is really important to you and makes you happy. I’m not talking about materialistic things either. I mean stuff like family, traveling, sports, relaxing, pets, etc. Now spend a part of each day focusing on your list and how to make it happen. Instead of worrying about circumstances that are out of your grasp.

An even easier way to combat stress which you can do anytime is breathing! This is going to sound borderline “hippie-ish” but it works for me. When you first get hit with that feeling of stress just stop! Close your eyes(unless your driving haha). Take a few very deep breaths. Think about something that makes you happy. Picture yourself doing your favorite activity and the feel the joy it brings you.

Those are just two methods, but there are plenty out there. make Google your friend and spend some quality time reducing your stress and you may end up living longer. Hope you found this article helpful even in the slightest way. Please comment other ways you have found to reduce stress 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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