Wednesday, February 29, 2012
We all Crave Alignment and Authenticity
"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied"
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Sometimes, as much as I agree that the capacity for reason and understanding separate humans from animals, I disagree with John Stuart Mill. Primarily because our capacity for intellect creates our capacity for self-destruction, self-sabatoge, and depression.
For a smart species, there are many individual human beings who can act quite stupid. A great many of us drive ourselves crazy making very avoidable mistakes. And it all stems from Mr. Mill's above quote.
A pig is happy because a pig is happy being a pig. A pig may not know any better, and to that end a pig may not aspire to be anything but a pig; but a pig still can derive happiness because their motives, intents, and therefore actions - are aligned.
Recall that we are all energy. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, 'energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another.' Living things still abide by this law. From a metaphysical point of view then, pigs are happy because their cells; their very energy; are in alignment - purposed to act like, eat like, think like, and live like a pig.
So with all of our smarts where do we as humans go wrong?
1. Some of us aspire to be famous, but we don't work tirelessly to bring all-star talent to the table. Why do we want to be famous after all? Is being famous for the sake of being famous really a goal, or do we crave something deeper that we think fame will bring us? If we crave some intrinsic reward, why do so many people sell their souls for their 15 minutes of fleeting fame?
2. We want to be thin, good looking, and enjoy robust health; yet 2/3 of the North American population is overweight because most restaurants (by % of total number) are fast food, low quality excuses for fuel. We spend money and stress over crash & fad diets and the newest fitness craze celebrities (see above) endorse, but do we just stick to what we know works - eating real food for energy and burning more calories than we consume? We can psychologically impair physiologic weight loss through our thoughts. Any time our internal image of ourselves is disconnected from what we actually look like on the outside - it creates friction. Our thoughts and our actions don't match, so one will have to change - improve actions & habits or succumb to accepting yourself as obese, not the person you know you can be and used to be.
3. We want to have money for ourselves & we selflessly want to give to charity every time a foster parent ad comes on; yet how many of us invest, budget, save, or use a financial planner/ advisor?
4. We want to be taken seriously as a person of intrinsic worth and something valuable to say, and yet some of us do that by wearing $400 jeans, $500 sunglasses and a $3000 handbag while driving a $50,000 car we cannot afford. See a disconnect here?
There are countless other examples, but the take home message is this...
If you want to get anywhere worthwhile and you'd like to get there sooner rather than later than all of your intent (mentally, physically, and even in terms of the energy of your cells) needs to be pointed in that direction.
If you wanted to game plan on how to bring as much misery as possible to your life - keep wishing without acting. Keep using the opinions of others to determine your own success. Keep waiting for Hollywood to tell you what's cool and morph yourself into that after every red carpet event.
If you want to be happy, use your human brain to envision the best life possible for you, and then act like a pig with all your faculties aligned to get there.