Blowing It Scenario #69-Our Throw Away Culture.

A Failure Of Happiness, Love, Relationships, You Name It, We Throw It Out.

I seriously can’t believe how much we throw out and we do it at such a velocity with so much ease. I’m not talking about just the weekly garbage pick up either, although we do throw out a lot there too. I’m talking about life in general. We are consistently trained through media, entertainment, and through our friends, and family. The message is constantly bombarded on us through our phones and tablets, that your life might suck and it can be so much better if you just buy this or invest in that. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs trained to salivate at the promise of greener pastures just over the horizon. All the while we fail to truly appreciate what we have.

We tend to love what we have for a brief moment in time and once that moment has faded, we eagerly jump to the next thing that will arouse our fleeting desires. We love our home’s for a few years than we become discontent with it, the floor plan sucks, the bathroom isn’t big enough, we need to redo the kitchen, and after all that’s done, it’s still not enough. So we’ll throw it out and hope to get something better. We’ll find what we think to be the love of our lives and when things don’t go our way, instead of working on it, we’ll throw that relationship out. It’s no wonder we have over a 50% divorce rate. I believe that will continue to increase, like I said we are trained to want more every day. We go on dates and if it’s not absolutely perfect, we’ll throw that potential suitor out. On dating apps you literally practice throwing away real people, in real time. It may not feel that way, you’re just swiping at photo’s, but you are the judge, jury, and executioner and you do it all by judging that book by it’s cover, or in this case a persons face and body. And yet we can’t figure out why these relationships hardly ever work out. Well it’s because before the date has even taken place, you’ve already treated everyone else like garbage people. Casting them out before ever even knowing them. The phones we buy purposeful burn out there own batteries after two years of use. Just so you have to throw that one out and buy a new fancier higher priced one. A tool breaks or an appliance stops working we throw it out with no attempt to repair. We’ll order too much food at dinner and when we’re unable to finish, those extras will find their way to the trash heap. Our clothes get worn or dated, so it’s on to a new wardrobe. Everything has become so easily expendable. It’s obvious why some people are disengaged, dissatisfied and fed up.

There is a lesson on happiness in stoic philosophy that says if you want to be happier, than you simply have to lower your expectations. I believe that to be true in the material world and when relying on others, because others fall outside of our realm of control. I’m not advocating giving up either. In “Flow”the famous work by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi he states that happiness lies in progress, something we fully control within ourselves, too much too fast is not always good from a happiness prospective. It’s much higher stress. You can be a Steve Jobs or a Elon Musk but you’ll have to sacrifice an insane amount to achieve those results, including some happiness. Mihaly says the sweet spot of progress and happiness is getting 4% better and any given productive task. It’s the reason some can stay up all night playing games with others or when building something new and in doing so, you completely lose track of time. It’s because you’re in a state of flow, you are making incrementally improved progress. Challenging yourself to deliberately get a little better each time out. And the rewards are often amazing. It’s the similar to the Kaizen principles where you try to achieve 1% growth with each practice. So continually try to improve yourself and you’re life will automatically improve around you. Just be content with what you have in the process. Life is good, be thankful.

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