Success is changing

Our concept of success is changing to a more sustainable model, finally.

The western world seems to be growing more than a little disenchanted with the pursuit of happyness through material wealth and the security it offers. Happyness, fullfillment and enlightenment (spiritual not religous) have been touted as the replacements. But the movement is not mainstream and I would argue you need to be more than a little enlightened to realise the material wealth dreams you are chasing are as illusive as water in the desert.

Apparently budhists monks are among some of the happiest people in the world (Mindfield, Lone Frank). Their success has been attributed to their dedication to meditation or introspection which helps them rationalise externalities (those things they can do little about right now) and their enhances their ability to empathise and forgive.

Five minutes of introspection has shown me that what I appreciate the most in life and those activities that make me happy are not always those things that I spend most of my time pursuing. They should be. No excuses.

7 thoughts on “Success is changing

  1. Thank-you, the term makes sense now. I would never have thought Steve Waugh to be so insightful!

    I'm not sure if a 'trend' implies growth. But then I'm not an economist. But I would think that some things that trend (even upward trends)'grow' until they burst, so I don't really see it as 'growth'.

    I see growth more as a long term, consistent and underlying thing… I guess.

  2. Yes, sorry poetic license with the Frangelico comment

    A trend implies growth, unless its trending downward (shrinking?). So yes, the pursuit of happyness has been a trend for a while now and the book 'Minefield' by Lone Frank examines how that trend has resulted in some amazing studies in the field of neuroscience.

    The first (and best)time I had really heard anyone talk about rationalising externalaties was actually Steve Waugh. For him, when he went out to bat, he focused only on the things he could control. He couldn't do anything about the bowlers, or the pitch or the weather, they were almost irrelevant to him. They were what they were and he had to take that into account into making his judements, but as he couldn't change them he essentially pushed them out of his mind to focus on what he could change and control. In my mind, he rationalised his externalities.

  3. Firstly, I don't think it was buddhists who developed Frangellico (your geography is a bit off there, I think that may have been christian monks!)

    Is there really a growth in 'the pursuit of happiness' or is it just a trend? Kudos to anyone buying a DIY Happiness book, but it doesn't come from there, it's all in your head!

    I wish you would use terms that actually make sense instead of these frickin' business/commerce/economic euphemisms! What exactly do you mean by 'rationalising your externalities”.

  4. In response:

    – By enlightened I mean simply to have at least thought about what makes you happy on a sustainable basis. i.e., conducted some form of introspection. No need for education or a particular mind-set. Capitalists do conduct introspection on a various levels on a regular basis, they just call it things like 'feed-back', 'moderation' and 'review'.

    – It doesn't matter if the western world has or has not previously been interested in the pursuit of happyness. What is interesting is that it appears there is a growth in the pursuit of happiness.

    – I think happiness is included in the value system, but the definition and the identification of what makes us happy is changing. Previously it was more related to security and materialism. Perhaps it is the more common achievement of this goal that has drawn people to chasing higher goals, although I don't think it needs to be a strict hierachy and buddhists monks are by no means materially wealthy (unless you include IP rights over Frangellico…)

    – I hardly think the movement away from traditional definitions of happiness is powerful enough to havee the advertising companies quacking in their boots. People are going to want a home with all the mod-cons for eve, but right now they are also spending money on DIY happiness books…

    – Thats correct, should puts pressure on me because I'm the only one responsible for my happiness – thats why I try to rationalise the externalities.

  5. My… we have been getting’ introspective.

    “I would argue you need to be more than a little enlightened to realise the material wealth dreams you are chasing are as illusive as water in the desert.”

    Do you mean you have to be educated? Or you just have to be open-minded/liberal? Because I would disagree if you meant educated.

    Couple of points – has the ‘western world’ ever been interested in the pursuit of happiness, and I mean true happiness, or call it truth even? Secondly, I’m not sure if this kind of fulfilment and enlightenment that you talk of will ever become mainstream in the ‘western world’ as we know it. By ‘western world’ I imagine you mean capitalist, democratic models of society. I say this because I believe what you are talking about is not factored into our value system at all. Call me negative or biased against this model of society, but that’s what I believe.

    ‘Rationalising externalities’ that sounds more like an economists term than a Buddhists! The ‘western world’ (you might as well just say the world, considering how much power/influence the western world has over the rest) does not want poeple to be ‘enlightened’ and suddenly decide that they wish to pursue true happiness, cause if everyone suddenly (or even slowly) turned around and decided to spend their time meditating then there would be no need for power, no need for money and therefore everything this ‘western world’ gives meaning and value to would be made redundant! Hmmm… imagine that – your entire value system decreed worthless, that’s neve happened before… oh wait… yes it has… that’s how westerners, colonists (whatever u wanna call them) perceived (and still perceive) ‘primitive’, ‘savage’, ‘native’ otherwise known as indigenous cultures! Now if only those cultures (the one’s that have survived anyway) were as forgiving as Buddhists! I wouldn’t be, so guess I’ll never reach enlightenment!

    Finally, the word ‘should’ puts unnecessary pressures on oneself, and these ‘activities’ that make you happy are probably externalities. ‘Attachment is the (false) belief that happiness comes from externalities such as possessions, jobs, people…’ (from http://www.new-age-spirituality.com/religion/tbuddhism.html.)

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