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Gerry's Corner - So Whatcha Gonna Do?

Gerry Cameron - Dec 05, 2018
There is no shortage of articles telling us that the old standard path of success and happiness just isn’t working.

A friend of mine once worked for a dentist who seemed to have it all; his practice was thriving, he lived in a prestigious neighborhood, he drove a luxury car, and his vacations took him around the world. In short, this guy exemplified success. But here’s the kicker. Truth be told, he hated his job and was really unhappy with his life. Who would have guessed he was in a bad place?

There is no shortage of articles telling us that the old standard path of success and happiness just isn’t working. We’ve all heard it: go to college, get a high-paying job, get married, have kids, save for retirement, and finally go on a cruise. In an article by Stephanie Vozza for the Fast Company magazine, Colin Beavan, the author of “No Impact Man”, was following the same path. But instead of feeling successful, he was dissatisfied with his life and concerned how his pursuits were affecting the environment. So, in 2007, he and his wife dropped the so-called blueprint to success and happiness and discovered that life was far better and more meaningful when you lived it according to your values. In his new book, “How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World”, Beavan believes the old approaches to happiness no longer work and are starting to break down. For starters, a college education no longer guarantees a high-paying job, and even if you find one, there is no guarantee you’ll keep it. He also feels too many people get caught up with advertising telling us how much happier we’ll be with their products but end up wanting and buying things we don’t really need. And if the purchase does bring happiness, the feeling doesn’t last long. Instead, Beavan challenges us to think hard and deep and ask ourselves what we really care about; “The idea is to explore who you are in your own life so you can make choices that are better for you and the world.” And the answer doesn’t have to be a major change. Looking at simple things that matter to you is a start. And from there, take a daily step that cultivates your values.

Linda is a good friend of mine who truly cares about the well-being of animals, and she lights up when she talks about the hours she volunteers at a local animal shelter. She walks the dogs, brushes them, and a lot of times just sits with them to keep them company. She’s also taken this love for animals and started a pet-sitting/dog-walking business. At first, she started it to make extra money, but it bloomed into a full-time occupation. For Linda, caring for people’s pets through her business and volunteering during the night at the shelter brings her true happiness.

I once read a poster that said it best — “Working Hard for Something We Don’t Care About is Called Stress. Working Hard for Something We Love is Called Passion.”