When you take a look at the following pictures, does your mind associate these pictures with certain assumptions?
Do you associate the pictures on the left with:
“living the dream”
What adjectives would you use to describe the pictures on the right?
Now, let’s assume these two women owned the car and house above and below their respective pictures. What would your initial impressions be (without having any other information about either woman?)
Many people would see the pictures on the left as good examples defining SUCCESS. These pictures might imply:
Modeling career with 6 or 7 figure income
Beautiful “Dream” Estate
Luxurious Sport Car ownership
Many people would see the pictures on the right as good examples defining AVERAGE.
Is this perception or reality?
If you believe the pictures on the left represent a “dream lifestyle,” name a person “living this dream” you’d want to permanently exchange places with. Beyonce? Mariah Carey? Oprah?
These women are certainly wealthy, successful in their respective professions and own many luxurious items, but how happy do you believe they truly are? Each has had to make enormous sacrifices to achieve the lifestyles they’re currently living. They have faced controversy, marital issues, setbacks and failures (all while under the scrutiny of media coverage.) Their “success” and luxurious lifestyle has cost them the ability to freely walk the streets without security, travel freely using commercial airlines, enjoy leisure time with children in public parks, etc… What seems like a “dream” existence, can in reality, feel like a “prison” sentence without visible bars.
If you believe the following pictures:
represent a middle class lifestyle associated with possible debt, limited experience and limited resources for career advancement, your impression is probably in the majority. These three pictures are not typical examples of pictures most people associate with “living the dream.”
WHY IS THAT?
First, most of us believe greater satisfaction in life is found beyond our lifestyle expectations. I am convinced this self imposed belief is a MAJOR factor preventing many people from advancing toward pursuing and accomplishing personal needs that create individual HAPPINESS and FULFILLMENT.
Secondly, we have an inherent need to COMPARE ourselves with others when measuring our position in life. Consider how much more fulfilling it would be to discover true passion and purpose without feeling the need to concern oneself with everyone else’s opinion. Pursuing these concepts creates EXCITEMENT. This kind of excitement doesn’t “grow old” like a material possession. It offers new challenges and new achievements that keeps life exciting and meaningful.
If you accept my premise, you would begin to realize opportunity exists for EACH of the two young women. Yes, there are certain boundaries with each lifestyle, but the ability to experience JOYFUL LIVING is achievable in BOTH cases.
If you’re not EXCITED about your lifestyle and your situation, it doesn’t mean the situation is beyond your control. Change requires EFFORT, but so does being RICH or POOR (financially and emotionally.)
YOU WANT PROOF?
What if the REALITY of the pictures including the white car, the girl in the blue shirt and the smaller home:
didn’t represent a middle class lifestyle associated with possible debt, limited experience and limited resources for career advancement
represented a young woman excited about purchasing her first house? What if her passion and purpose was supporting a “greener” lifestyle and drove a little car supporting her values and beliefs? What if the picture of this young woman smiling represented her response to the photographer’s question, “how do you feel when you reflect upon what you’ve already accomplished in life during the short time you’ve been on this planet?”
I am NOT a creative thinker. Over the years in practice as a physician, however, I have been exposed to many different types of people and LEARNED these TRUTHS from them. Most of us have the capability to redirect our lives down a better path designed to pursue our individual needs. We can choose to recognize that PERCEPTIONS and REALITIES are often subjective in nature and can therefore, under go creative alterations using our own creative thinking and actions.
Choosing a more fulfilling life based on personal self values, ethics and moral behavior provides a basis for self development and growth. This opens one’s eyes to NEW perceptions and realities that supports meaningful and positive changes. This new ATTITUDE creates motivation that turns each day into an opportunity to move further along the pathway of CHOICE.
I dare you to challenge your thinking in this manner. I dare you to discover a happier more fulfilling life created by using your abilities and willingness to apply yourself to pursue a better quality of life.