A Shortcut From Here to There

by Stephen Mills on August 27, 2009

Zen

I don’t believe that most people really want a lot of money as an end or ultimate goal.  They consider that a means to a more ultimate end state. They want money because they think they will be able to buy freedom, goods and services, world travel, etc. with that money and that those things will make them happy.  Same thing applies to fame or other forms of recognition.  People want happiness, contentment, love, meaning or some other ultimate state.  Those are what they ultimately seek whether they explicitly recognize it or not.

We spend our lives chasing means to those ends.  What does the evidence of real-world results demonstrate to us in regards to the effectiveness of this approach?  This is not a scientific opinion, but I think it is uncontroversial to say that if you look at the lives of those who have achieved those means, they usually don’t achieve the ultimate end that they were really after.  Whatever we like to believe, the evidence is that it really doesn’t work. We seem to think that those those others didn’t do it right, and we will not make the same mistakes they did.

Why don’t we just skip these difficult to attain means, skip all the stress and pain that we will encounter along the way, and go directly to the ends we desire?  The more I reflect on all this, the more convinced I am that going more directly to the end is a simple and powerful approach that is almost always missed in our “success” oriented modern societies.

I’ve been writing a lot on this blog about ways to become more content, happy, and peaceful right now.  I’m getting better at it every day and you can too.  I’m taking the simple, direct, and reliable path to my ultimate ends and skipping the stressful means that won’t work anyway.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Positively Present August 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Really great post! I love this: “I’ve been writing a lot on this blog about ways to become more content, happy, and peaceful right now. I’m getting better at it every day and you can too.” I completely feel the same way about how my life has changed since I’ve started working on Positively Present!
.-= Positively Present´s last blog ..5 steps for setting happiness resolutions (yes, in August!) =-.

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Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:03 am

Hi Dani! Isn’t this blogging thing great?! 🙂

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Diggy - Upgradereality.com August 28, 2009 at 6:29 am

Heya Stephen!

I’m enjoying following your thoughts on achieving happiness!

Like you say, so many of us mistakenly believe that having money will solve all our problems and will guarantee happiness, but happiness it totally unrelated to money. You can have nothing and be happy, just as you can have money and be unhappy.

The key is finding a balance, and being happy while you work to earn money, and just keep following your dreams and passions 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!
.-= Diggy – Upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Whether you think you can or can’t…you are right. =-.

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Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:04 am

Heya Diggy! Thanks for stopping in to comment. You have a fantabulous weekend too.

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Vin - NaturalBias August 28, 2009 at 7:15 am

Very thought provoking, Stephen!

I would go on to say that not only do people who achieve fame and fortune not reach the end goal, they are often more troubled and unhappy than those of us who are ironically wishing for what they have.

I think a problem that many people have is that they assume money and/or fame will automatically bring them what they want without even really knowing what that is. Ten years ago, like many people, I didn’t know any better and was into the nice house and nice car thing. Now I’m into having the freedom to pursue my own values and I don’t need a lot of money or fame for that. Just dedication. 🙂
.-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..Health Care Reform is Not the Answer! =-.

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Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:06 am

Vin, you are absolutely right. Often the means turns out to be the means to something you didn’t want at all.

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meatlessmama August 28, 2009 at 10:24 am

I think alot of people don’t really know what they want, but assume if they have money then they’ll be able to get whatever makes them happy. I gave up alot of material things in order to stay home and raise my children. I knew that it was what would make me happy and give me great satisfaction. I know many people who pursued money and things instead, and they are never satisfied, always looking for more and newer toys.
.-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Zucchini Pancakes with Heirloom Tomatoes =-.

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Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:08 am

meatlessmam, it’s a distraction attraction. The pursuit of newer and bigger toys is just a temporary distraction from the missing of something deeper. That’s why you continually need more – more distraction.

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Zeenat(Positive Provocations} August 29, 2009 at 5:50 am

I am so with you on this using a shortcut to get to where we want to be. I, like you lelieve that we waste far too much time in retrospect…..its more like ‘Dont just think, DO’
I love this post. It is so true that writing a blog has helped us find answers…and inturn made our lives more happy and productive. I feel like i have been tapping so much about myself and the world around me since i began blogging and writing about life and personal development. It is truly an amazing gift.
I am so glad you reminded me of the shortcut…sometimes we forget…and this gentle reminder is so welcome.Thank you.
.-= Zeenat(Positive Provocations}´s last blog ..As You Think =-.

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Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:11 am

Zeenat, hello! Thanks for coming by and leaving your always thoughtful comments. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

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Martha September 18, 2009 at 11:29 am

I couldn’t agree more! … happiness, love, meaning and life in general happens NOW, not some time in the future, just by BEING.
.-= Martha´s last blog ..Blue Hydrangea Blossoming =-.

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