"What is truly good for you, should be good for others and the wider world too."
(1797 Words - Reading Time Approx. 12 Minutes)
Those of us living in the modern western world are subconsciously programmed from an early age, by our parents, teachers and society to recognise and value success. Our entire education is meant to help us to be successful in later life. We are told to work hard at school to get good grades, so we can do well in life at whatever we are doing. Success is seen in career terms as doing well, which might mean getting good jobs, getting promoted, rising to the top, earning lots of money, being able to afford lovely cars, houses, holidays and all sorts of material things. Being rich and famous is almost seen at the epitome of success.
Success seems like it is really important, yet there is often a price to pay to achieve it, in terms of happiness, fulfilment, and wellbeing. Many rich and famous people end up miserable, ill, depressed and lonely. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about the late incredibly talented singer Amy Winehouse, who won countless awards and achieved incredible success making her very wealthy. Towards the end of the programme, you could see the mass of media and paparazzi camped out outside her home, commenting on the struggles she was experiencing in her life. She said “If I could give it all back, I would”, by which she meant her fame and success. Famous actor Jim Carey once said: "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer". One of the UK’s richest people, the late Duke of Westminster admitted £9billion riches contributed to lifelong depression.
His Holiness The Dalia Lama
I believe wealth might give you choices, but it isn’t the primary goal in life. I think the Dalai Lama was right when he said the only life goal in life for all of us is “happiness and the avoidance of pain and suffering”. The big question we need to ask ourselves and discover is “what makes us happy”. When we know that, we’d be happier orientating our lives around that rather than pursuit of success as I’ve defined it. There is nothing inherently wrong with success, it just isn’t the ultimate goal. I think we would be better to think of success as the achievement of happiness and fulfilment, and a key part of achieving that is to make a difference to others and the wider world. It took me half a lifetime to work that out, and now I am keen to share what I’ve discovered. This is my story:
When I was young, I used to like watching movies, and I decided I wanted to have the sort of exciting, adventurous and rewarding life that I saw people in the movies having. I quickly realised that this life wasn’t going to be laid on for me, so I set about becoming the author of my own life story, and director of my own life movie. The result was that I gained a huge amount of experiences, both good and bad. I experienced some massive highs and lows, had plenty of real life adventures, made and lost millions, found myself in many life-threatening situations, including being shipwrecked in mid-Atlantic, and at one time reached rock bottom. A massive curiosity, led me on a journey of discovery; I wanted to understand the meaning and purpose of life, and how we can all make the most of our lives and our time on earth. That journey led me to an epiphany that transformed my life. I had a strong feeling that everything I had ever learnt, discovered, done, experienced and achieved, was part of a lifetime apprenticeship, to prepare me to help others on their life journey. My ego gave way to humility, as I discovered my destiny to become a servant for humanity, helping others.
I am most comfortable at the leading edge of Progress, Human Endeavour and Enterprise, I particularly enjoy finding innovative and creative ways of solving problems, delivering improvement and creating and exploiting opportunities, which help people to live better lives, have better careers, run better businesses and organisations and make the world a better place.
I’ve noticed that the pursuit of money often brings out the worst in people. There are many people who seek to get ahead, and don’t care about anyone other than themselves, and very often they succeed. Perhaps you have seen people who’ve got promoted at work, and you’ve seen how they have done that at the expense of others, playing political games, taking credit for things they shouldn’t, and blaming others for failures they are really responsible for. These people live their lives from a self-centred perspective, where their winning is the most important thing, regardless of how much others might suffer or lose out, it is a mindset of win/lose. A great example of this would appear to be Sir Phillip Green who appears according to the Financial Times, to have extracted £1.2 billion from BHS retail store business, before selling it for a £1 and leaving it with a deficit of £571m in its pension fund, and ultimately 11,000 people lost their jobs as it collapsed, and the full benefits of their pensions, they had worked so hard to achieve.
Sir Philip Green's Amazing New Yacht - Lionheart
As many of those people who lost their jobs struggled financially, Sir Phillip took delivery of his new $150m super yacht, called Lionheart.
The late Stephen Covey wrote a brilliant book called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. One of his seven habits was “think win / win”. Whilst many people have become hugely successful and indeed effective, on the modus operandi of Win / Lose, I think it is not good for your true happiness, your karma and soul (if you believe in those things) to get ahead at the expense of others.
In my new book: “Feel Good Change The World”, I share what I have learnt.
Jonathan Blain's New Book - Feel Good Change The World
There is an important truth, that we are living in a unique time in the history of humanity, and in a world that is in turmoil; economically, politically, socially and environmentally and individually. Humanity seems on a knife edge balance between great opportunity on one side, and enormous threats on the other. I feel we need more wisdom, love and imagination in the world. We need new ideas, new thinking and new solutions, we need to discover the truth, make the connections and change the game to create a better brighter future for ourselves, for others and for the wider world.
We all get to decide what level to live our lives at. If your consciousness increases, you can start to live your life at a transformation level and if it increases further you can live at a transcendent level.
1.Functional / Tactical Level
The tactical level is where most people operate, for most of the time, it is about tasks needing to be completed and accomplished, to achieved direct results or outcomes.
At the transformation level, it is not just about tasks and outcomes, it is much deeper; it is about who we really are, how to be who we really are, how to change not just what we do, but how we live our lives, how we think and how we feel, how we see things, so that we can be wiser, achieve more, break free from convention, driving progress, positively changing the status quo, being motivated and inspired, and positively impacting others and the world.
The transcendent Level is the highest level, it is about interacting in the world in a bigger, broader, more strategic and caring way, knowing that you are part of something greater than yourself. It is about service, being kinder, more caring, being of service, orientated towards excellence, not just driven by personal circumstances and selfish desires. What can we do together in the world to make the world a better place?
If you imagine a painting of yourself in your life, there is you in the middle, and around you are others and the wider world. Your happiness depends on the happiness of others and the state of the wider world. What would your life be like if you were surrounded by unhappy people and a terrible world that had been wrecked by humanity?
We are all connected to each other and all living things, we are all part of a whole that is greater than each of us. The wonderful thing is that your happiness increases when you achieve success by practising win / win. Just imagine for a moment looking at the big picture. There are 7.4 billion people on the planet right now and the number is increasing dramatically. What if the other 7.4 billion were trying to get ahead and get what they want at the expense of you, your family and those you really care about? It is a terrible thought isn’t it. If we want others to conduct their lives in a way that is good for us, we need to conduct our lives in a way that is good for others.
We might think we are insignificant and that what we do doesn’t matter, but if you imagine 7.4 billion people doing that, you can quickly realise that what each of us does matters a great deal. In the 50,000 years that modern man (Homo Sapiens) have existed, we thought the world was limitless in terms of its resources, but now we are discovering that man-made activity is having a profoundly negative impact on the world. Did you know that in the last fifty years, we humans have killed and eaten 90% of the big fish in the oceans, destroyed 50% of the world’s coral, and are responsible for the biggest mass extinction of species since the age of the dinosaurs 65 millions years ago. Every day 150 – 200 species are going extinct, which according to experts is more than 1,000 times the natural rate of extinction. For all the technological advancement and progress in the world, humanity is in crisis in almost every way imaginable and at an individual level there is a massive epidemic of mental health, depression and a huge rise in suicides.
I suggest we need to find better ways to live our lives and manage our careers, so that we can all be happier and more fulfilled and one of the best ways for us to do that is to make a bigger difference ourselves. If we care about ourselves, our children if we have any and future generations, what is truly good for us, must also be good for others and the wider world.
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