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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Searching for a Better Life

A new and cherished friend of mine, Tom Martin, is an Expat here in Davao from America. When ever I see him and we have a chance to talk I always enjoy his stories and outlooks on people and life. I recently asked him if he would like to be a contributor to my blog and he emailed me this article about outlooks on life.

I hope you enjoy it and also Tom will continue to give me his wonderful and honest look at life.

Thank you Tom for sending this to me to use.

Searching for a Better Life by Tom Martin

Many people will spend their entire adult life searching for what they describe as a "better life". When you ask them what a "better life" means they can barely put it into words and certainly cannot define it in detail. If you cannot define a "better life" then how will you know when you achieve it? If you cannot determine when you achieve a "better life" then you are on an endless search. If the search for a "better life" never ends then happiness and contentment will always elude you.

Is a "better life" more money, more toys, designer clothes, expensive automobiles, a larger home, a better job, more respect, better health, a better neighborhood or more for your children than you ever had? Is a "better life" finding someone that will make you happy once and for all? Have you ever considered that perhaps a "better life" begins the moment you become content and thankful for what you have while striving to improve your present circumstances?

Mankind by nature is greedy. A young child always wants what someone else has. A baby learns early on how to use tantrum fits to get things other than what they really need. If you do not learn to control your greed it will destroy your life. If you define a "better life" as more material goods then you need to prepare yourself for a lifetime of searching because regardless of what you get it will never be enough.

If you define a "better life" as finding that one person that can make you happy you are headed for disappointment. When you find that person of your dreams it will only give you a temporary fix. It will not be the end of your search for a "better life." You see no one can make another person happy. They can only make them HAPPIER. Happiness comes from within and others may compliment our happiness, but they cannot make us happy. The reason so many relationships fail today is people are looking for someone else to make them happy.

We are approaching that time of year when people around the world will celebrate Christmas and New Year. What a perfect time to give yourself one of the greatest gifts of all, the beginning to the end of your search for a "better life." I can honestly guarantee you if you begin to examine yourself and discover what is lacking within and fix it you will achieve a "better life" and along with it will come true happiness, joy, peace and contentment.

5 comments:

a's anonymous said...

I very much agree with the perspective expressed in this piece. People do envelop themselves in concepts that mean so little, if anything at all.
I don't believe that greed is a natural human trait, though. I think the only reason children want what other's have at such a young age is rooted to parental influence. At an early age kids start to value materials, but only because the idea of having something is all around them. Even a holiday like Christmas may very well create and introduce this idea of materialism to children. I mean, what are we to expect, in a sense we teach them the value of objects by offering them 'great' gifts.

I'm very fond of the point he made of how happiness doesn't come from what you have, it comes from the appreciation of life.

Bruce said...

A'
Thank you for reading and the nice comments. I think Fr. Tom will appreciate your sincerity.

Thomas Shawn said...

I'm a student of the stock market and there are two things that rule all men: fear and greed. Those things must be managed.

Having grown up in the lowest rung of American economic strata I can tell you that the greed is worse at the bottom.

There were a bunch of people who tried to create a society based on the idea that greed could be wiped out and that a society could operate on societal loyalty: they were called Marxists. In America, people usually embrace that foolishness once the salary reaches above $120,000 and mortgage for the nice house in the white suburbs has already been secured.

Thomas Shawn said...

To Father's post:

My goal is to have my children remember their father as "always being around." That motivates me to moderate my corporate career pursuits and it definitely motivates me to explore self directed investing as a possible career.

Bruce said...

Thomas,
Thanks for commenting. I think there are goals to improve ones life that is not really greed.
I think greed drives people to step on others to get what they do not have where goals are a stepping stone to reach a better existance.
We can have goals for ourself, or goals in helping others. It is just a path to where we want to be.