I’m not one for cheesy tag lines, motivational quote calendars nor do I follow any of those “inspirational” Instagram accounts. But a few years ago, I came across a Ted Talk video called the “The surprising science of happiness” by Harvard professor Dan Gilbert and it gave me some great perspective. In this video, he describes mankind’s ability to create synthetic happiness for himself. We convince ourselves that our current state, are in fact, what we really wanted in the first place.
People find a way to be happy with what’s happened to them even though that’s not what they wanted. Strange isn’t it. You got a job out of university while your friends were still looking. Your apartment needed some touching up but its looks ok now. Your dream girl isn’t interested but her friend likes you so you date her. All this is great. Not everyone is fortunate enough like you, so you’re grateful (as you should be). ”I got a job, a home and a girl” you think to yourself. At this point, you’re probably thinking “Ya so? What’s the problem with all that?” Let me ask you something, you want “a” or “the”? You’re cheating yourself by picking the former. You spend all your time searching for the tree of self-fulfillment and then pick the low hanging fruit. Shame on you. We spend all of our resources trying to achieve our goals but so many of us allow time to erode our drive and motivation.
Society has diluted what it means to be selfish to something shameful, where in the correct context, should be defined as a tool of empowerment. Be selfish. Go for the job, the home and the girl. You made sacrifices in your life to get what you desire. Strategize your steps and execute accordingly. Don’t you think its time you got what you really wanted all along? You’re not fooling anyone otherwise.