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Life Is Not One-Size-Fits-All March 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People.

Many people go through life without making conscious choices. 

They grow up, get married (sometimes to the wrong person), and start cranking out babies without first determining whether they have the necessary resources and temperament to care for offspring. 

Others work at jobs they hate, and attempt to negate their workplace unhappiness by spending each paycheck as quickly as possible on materialistic clutter that they don’t even take time to enjoy. 

Why do so many people work at jobs they hate to earn money to buy things they don’t even need? 

I suspect it’s because they are playing follow the leader ~ they’ve bought into the notion that happiness is out there somewhere and they are determined to find it through purchase and acquisition.  

Instead of looking within and making conscious decisions for themselves about what they need to be happy, they use an external reference point as a benchmark . . . I’ll have what she’s having. 

Rather than empowering themselves to live autonomously, they obligingly conform to societal and familial expectations. 

Rather than thinking things through for themselves, they live life by general consensus ~ relying on others (including the media and advertisers) to tell them what to do, wear, be, say, watch, eat, buy, etc.

Those who live life by consensus tend to ridicule and bully peers who choose to step out of the mainstream by walking to the beat of a different drummer.

Rather than applauding uniqueness and individuality, they look askance at anyone exercising personal autonomy ~ voluntarily assuming the role of Border Collies, yipping at the heels of miscreant sheep who stray from the fold, urging the wayward sheep to get back in line.   

Reclaiming our freedom, to live life fully, requires that we tune out societal messages urging conformity . . . to listen to own inner wisdom.

Be an artist, live by your own rules.     

Quote:  Always remember that you don’t have to be what they want you to be.  ~ Mohammad Ali

No rules.  Just write!


1. Richard - March 18, 2010

The problem is that while money may not always buy happiness it can buy a better quality of depression

2. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

I expect that’s why so many people remain in the rat race, even after they tire of being on the treadmill. ; )

3. RichardWScott - March 18, 2010

This is an insightful piece.

I especially liked the “When Harry Met Sally” reference.

I would add, from my experience, that after years of life with no small amount of self-inflicted disappointment, that I have learned about a trap

Whenever I catch myself thinking (or saying) “if only I had ____ then I would be ____” I know I’ve set myself up for disappointment.

4. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

So true.

Happiness comes not from having all we want, but from enjoying more fully what we already have.

“Between the wish and the thing . . . life lies waiting.”


5. youdontlook42 - March 18, 2010

I do believe that there are many out there who eventually realize that we’ve been tricked into believing a life of materialism is happiness. Unfortunately, once we realize this, we’re so heavily in debt we have to stay in the rat race to pay off our youthful foolishness. I hope I do a good job as a parent showing my child that there’s a different way. He’ll just have to understand that I learned a little late.

6. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

Good luck!

One of the best things about being a parent is being able both to learn from our own “mistakes,” and share those lessons with our kids.


brleon - March 19, 2010

I have to say, as a parent, I really love when I’m able to share my mistakes with my kids. And I often explain how we may be able to afford something, it’s not really something we need. I’ve tried to make the very aware of saving some $ in the bank is much more satisfying and peaceful then just buying things on credit, and when the situation changes it is very refreshing to not feel locked in by our possessions.

nrhatch - March 19, 2010

Great points!

When we realize that “less is more,” we avoid becoming possessed by our possessions.

7. Joanne - March 19, 2010

Ironically, I recently wrote lyrics to another song that sends a wish that my kids could learn from my “mistakes” — However, the chorus of the song emphasizes that what I really want is to SHOW them how to get back up from the inevitable “falls” that go with each life that must be lived.

When we own our own lives, we own everything that goes with it — the mistakes, the falls and then the victories of rising up again… We manage the contrasts that appear as conflicts so that we can always experience the yin/yang, highs/lows and everything else that goes with expanding emotional intelligence.

Nancy, your blogs have me hooked… Your thoughts are hammering through my writer’s block… Thanks a lot… I had sworn I was just logging on to do a drive-by reading of my built-up e-mails…LOL…!

8. nrhatch - March 19, 2010

Aah, the addictive nature of my blog is working . . . : )

So true about “owning” our own life.

Instead of looking for someone to blame when we hit a rough patch, we look at what we are being offered ~ we look for the lesson, pluck it, and move on to the next lesson.

Thanks for your great comments, Joanne.

9. Sass and Balderdash! « Spirit Lights The Way - November 7, 2012

[…] Related Posts:  Bah Humbug! (Huw Thomas) * Life is Not One-Size-Fits-All […]

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