Has Unhappiness Become a Cultural Universal?
If so, how did we get to where we are today?
As children we dreamed of:
- Becoming an astronaut and going to the Moon. Or perhaps Mars!
- Becoming a fireman, fighting fires and saving lives. And, once in a while pulling a cat out of a tree.
- Becoming a policeman and helping others. Because we were told that that’s what policemen do…help others in need.
- Becoming a doctor or a nurse and helping others. By becoming a pediatrician we would be able to help children…others like ourselves.
- Becoming a teacher and working with children. Once again, because we wanted to help others… in this case, to learn.
Where are you today?
- Did you follow through and become an astronaut? If so, can I please have your autograph?
- How about a fireman or a police officer?
- Perhaps you’re a doctor? Working with children in the Third World somewhere? And maybe for Doctors without Borders or the World Health Organization?
- Maybe you went to college and now you’re teaching kindergarten on a Native American Reservation, in Appalachia, or the inner city?
Where are your dreams today?
- Did you hold onto them?
- Do you remember them?
- Are you willing to admit that you still remember them? Because admitting you remember your dreams might lead you to ask the next, much more difficult question:
- Why not?
And finally, what are your dreams today?
In fact, let’s take it a step farther and ask this question:
- Do you dream at all?
Obviously, the above-mentioned questions can only be answered by you, and only after a great deal of contemplation and soul searching.
Unless, of course, you are one of the fortunate few, the twenty percent who are happy, the twenty percent who have followed their dreams…and/or continue to follow their dreams!
Are you one of the 80%?
Or are you part of the 20%?
I have embedded two videos because they are interesting, and because they get to the heart of the matter quickly and interestingly. At least I think so. I hope you do too!
Please let me know what you think!
And, perhaps, where you are today in terms of the whole 80/20* thing.
Here are the two videos:
How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes: Adam Leipzig at TEDxMalibu
How to find and do work you love: Scott Dinsmore at TEDxGoldenGatePark (2D)
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
*Note: Not to be confused with the 80/20 Principle – although the relationship (and the coincidence – if coincidence exists) is suggestive.