Five Myths about Life and How You Should Be Living It

joy.jpgEvery day, we’re bombarded by television commercials, celebrity spokespeople, and advertisements telling us the “right” way to live.

We are told to strive for unattainable lifestyles and to model ourselves after unrealistic, airbrushed models.

Sometimes you need to step back from this virtual reality and ponder what life is really about. Will that Mercedes or those anti-anxiety medications really make you happier, or are they only temporary solutions to deeper issues? Examine these five myths about how you should be living your life and start living the way you want to live.

Myth 1: Material Things Prove Your Worth

Someone once said, “One reason it’s so hard to save money is that our neighbors are always buying something we can’t afford.” Keeping up with the Joneses is certainly no way to live, and the desire to do so stems from a belief that material things prove your worth. Extravagant clothing, houses, and cars oftentimes serve as status symbols in today’s society, but when it comes down to it, what you have in your heart and mind is worth much more than what you’ve got in your wallet. Furthermore, comparing yourself financially to your friends and family will only cause envy and strife. Remember that while luxuries may be enjoyable, they don’t make you who you are.

Myth 2: You Should Always Take an Expert’s Opinion at Face Value

How many times have you taken your car in for a simple oil change, only to be told you need hundreds of dollars worth of repairs in other areas? Have you taken the mechanic’s word for it and shelled out the cash or gone in for a second opinion elsewhere? We tend to rely on experts for advice, whether they are doctors, family lawyers, financial consultants, or repairmen, but you can’t forget that even though they are experts, they still don’t know everything. You always retain the power to do your own research or seek out another form of advice. You may find child custody laws in Wisconsin that separate individuals offer different yet complementary opinions that allow you to shape a more informed decision on the issue you are having.

Myth 3: When in Doubt, Medicate

It’s hard to make it through a 2-minute commercial break without seeing an advertisement for some sort of prescription drug. The prescription drug industry has exploded in the past decade, and Zoloft, Prozac, and Ritalin are now part of most Americans’ vocabulary. While there is something to be said for the positive benefits medications have to offer, they are certainly not quick fix on the road to happiness. Before asking your doctor about the latest mood-altering drug you saw on television or in a magazine, consider seeking therapy and using self-improvement strategies to alter your moods instead. Even if prescription drugs are a feasible option for your treatment plan, it’s important to remember that they are not a cure-all. Healing takes time and a repertoire of varying strategies in order to truly come about.

Myth 4: It’s Hip to Be Forever Young

The world today is filled with Peter Pans – adults who don’t want to grow up. Whether they are lacking in emotional maturity or in wrinkles, growing old has become a faux pas for a lot of people. Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s great to feel young at heart and to be physically fit, but it’s possible to do so and still age gracefully. Aging with class involves learning from your past. What’s the point of a life long-lived if you want to act like a child and look like one, too? Gray hair, laugh lines, and a cultivated point of view are things to be embraced, not shunned.

Myth 5: You Can Do It All

Society tends to tell us that multitasking and the ability to juggle lots of things at once is a good thing, but when you have too many things in the air, something is bound to get dropped. Ambition is a good thing, but you have to know when enough is enough. Yes, it’s possible to be a wife, a mother, a businesswoman, and the best baker at the church bazaar, but it’s also okay to say no when your best friend asks you to help her plan a charity gala. When you take on more than you can handle, the quality of your projects often suffers. Don’t feel pressured to be a yes-man. Even the best of us can’t do it all.

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There are so many self-improvement blogs, magazines, and websites out there these days, everyone has an opinion on the way you should be living your life. It’s important not to focus on the myths flooding the media but to analyze your situations carefully and live the way that is right for you.

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15 Comments on “Five Myths about Life and How You Should Be Living It”

  • More great advice! Keep up the good work :)

  • Each person should set their own course. Keeping up with the Jones’s is an endless battle. Happiness and contentment begins and ends from within.

  • All good stuff.

    I especially like the stepping back to ponder what life is all about, finding a balance between heart and mind and allowing that to guide us.

    It’s so easy to get swept along on life’s wave of constantly rushing from one thing to another or trying to balance too many projects. Wanting to be popular or simply be seen to be doing the ‘right’ thing, staying ahead of the game so as not to miss out on the next ‘big’ thing is endless. As you say David, at the end of the day we alone know what is right for us at any given time and need to act in accordance with that inner voice irrespective of what anyone else thinks.

  • Mott,

    Well said. Very concise.

    The problem for many people is that they don’t know how to tap into their inner wisdom. It’s become obscured by all the “stuff” they’ve invited into their lives.

    David

  • Susanna,

    Absolutely true. We need to step into ourselves, something many people are afraid of because they don’t often like what they see, and be alone with ourselves, our thoughts, and our values. There, and only there, will we find the answers we need and seek.

    David

  • Top notch bit of advice, David. Thank you!
    Blessings to you and all you hold dear,
    CG

  • Thank you CG. My best wished to you and yours as well.

    David

  • Excellent point about being so quick to medicate. Seems like if you lined up all the kids in the U.S. every third one would be labeled A.D.D., A.D.H.D., Bi-Polar or some other thing.

    Of course, those who don’t take pills often self medicate with too much food, casual sex, unhealthy relationships or some other vice.

  • Terry,

    Agreed. Not only that, but many diagnoses stay with a person his/her entire life as part as a medical record.

    David

  • nice post:))

  • Great entry, David! I really enjoy “pillar posts” such as this.

    All the best,
    John Wolfe

  • John,

    It is clearly my hope that this is a pillar post. Car eto fill my readers in on what a “pillar Post” or “pillar article” is?

    David

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