Viewing Life as Packaged Deals

by Stephen Mills on September 17, 2011

Life is made up of a whole set of package deals.  It’s the nature of a package deal that you have to accept or reject the whole package, you don’t get to cherry pick the parts you want and reject the others.  The good usually comes packaged with some bad.  It’s part of the nature of the world we live in.

This is the problem I see with those gurus or spiritual leaders who claim everything can be great or perfect if you just look at things differently.  There is something to what they say and I agree with much of it but they over do it.  We think we have the right to demand life be great just because we exist or that it will be that way if we just imagine it.

I’m all for making the best of every situation, looking for something you can get out of each challenge or struggle and learn and grow from them.  I have said as much many times here on this blog.  However, I’m getting a little tired of people in general and gurus in particular acting like everything can be wonderful and perfect all the time.

One of the most important aspects of a good life are its relationships and this is one area where many people seem to not get the package deal concept.  If there ever was a package deal it is people.  Young people especially don’t seem to get this package concept of their romantic partners.  As soon as the move in together or get married, they set about constantly griping about the things, big and little, that they don’t like in the package they selected.  What’s worse is they think they can “change” them.  Sorry, but you bought a package.  Same with your friends.  Make sure you select carefully because a package you will get and not a piece of clay you can mold.

I choose to live in the burbs because I like the space and green surroundings.  I appreciate the peace and quiet most of the time.  But I bought a package deal.  I’m not surrounded by the cosmopolitan atmosphere of a city center and I crave that sometimes.  Instead, I get the burb culture and it definitely can be bland.  It’s a package deal.

Guess what happens when you elect a politician?  You get a package, much of which you aren’t going to like.

When you work for someone else, especially a corporation, you are trading independence and freedom for at least some level of stability and security.  When you work for yourself you are buying a different kind of package.  It doesn’t help to constantly bitch about the parts you don’t like because they come with the package.  Everything is not wonderful and great all the time.

I watched the U.S. Open Tennis Men’s finals earlier this week.  Novak Djokovic definitely experienced the thrill of victory while Rafael Nadal experienced the agony of defeat.  But even Djokovic suffered through the grueling and painful match with a back injury.  He had what many consider the greatest year ever in the history of tennis for a men’s single player.  That greatness came packaged with a great deal of mental and physical stress.  What about all the other players with less spectacular (or any) success?  Most elite performances are preceded by a great deal of not so thrilling practice and drills and yes even the agony of defeat.

Life has its ups and downs.  The downs make the ups that much sweeter.  Life is jam-packed with a bunch of small (and some not so small) packages – packages that bring both the good and the bad.  Accept that and life can be wonderful.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacq September 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

It’s human nature to not want to live with anything that we don’t like and it seems that some of us become more like toddlers all the time with our desire for everything that we’re doing or experiencing to be perfect at all times. EVERY part of it. (Thinking back to your “Has LB lost his freaking mind?” post.)

The most common nowadays on the net seems to be the desire for work that you’re passionate about – not just like a lot, but be passionate about. I’ve had jobs that have been really great and jobs that suck but there’s always been some things that I’ve had to push myself to do or not really like doing even in the jobs that I’ve really enjoyed in general. So instead of working on that job to make it more pleasant – or (heaven forbid!) on yourself – we listen to a guru that tells us to chuck it all and follow our passions and life will be blissful working from home for 4 hours a week in our PJ’s or traveling around the world, living like a rockstar.

The greatest downfall of the web in all this – and why I think we’re seeing such a preponderance of this kind of thinking now – is a combination of a few things: That many of the people that are writing a bunch of this “perfect life” drivel are quite young and at the stage where *they* don’t really want to have to push themselves – at all – and they’re feeding off other people who don’t want to either, and the lack of many to engage in critical thought with some concepts which creates a little “tribe of sycophancy” (thanks to blogs etc.) around the guru where nobody’s telling them that they’re not really considering that whole picture.

But we live in an age where hyperbole and the promise of pink unicorns and fuzzy bunny thinking gets a lot of subscribers and followers, so I don’t expect the trend to slow down any time soon.
Jacq´s last [type] ..Let’s talk of many things…

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Sonny September 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

I read your opening paragraph, and – maybe it’s just me – the first thing that came to mind was the theme song to that old ’80s TV show, The Facts of Life. It (the song) went something like:

“You take the good,
You take the bad,
You take ‘em both
And there you have
The facts of life…”
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ella September 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Yep, my father always says that life is like the back of a zebra :)
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Charisma September 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

Life is never complete without a problem, package of life comes with problem. Why? because the problems we encounter helps us become a strong person.
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Stephan Hilson September 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

I guess problems make life more meaningful and interesting. It seems interesting that life is being viewed with package deals. But I agree that it is part of the nature of the world we live in. Maybe gurus and other spiritual leaders became aware something from the spiritual side compared to other people. Thanks for the interesting article.
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RheaFlor September 23, 2011 at 3:55 am

Bad is part of your life. As it was said it is in the package and we somehow just need to learn how to balance things.
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jewel September 23, 2011 at 10:21 am

Very inspiring post..Because of the problems we encounter we are asking help for being a strong person..Thank your for sharing this..Hope not only will inspire..
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Ravit September 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm

A liberating post Stephen! It is all about accepting the package… :) thank you
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Sharon September 27, 2011 at 6:26 am

I totally agree with you Stephen, the next degree is to be thankful for what you have, it gives you the space to be a more loving person…
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Wendy September 29, 2011 at 1:38 am

I can’t agree more with your article.. You should learn to accept changes in life.. Because there are so many beautiful things that life has to offer for you..
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Sally Thompson September 29, 2011 at 9:45 am

Very honest post! I really enjoyed reading your post! I can relate with you.. We have the same insights! Thanks for the post! Keep up the good work..
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sapir October 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

“The good usually comes packaged with some bad” – too bad that’s true… but maybe that’s the beauty of it (?!)
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Kaitlyn October 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Stephen,
Your post is awesome, I enjoy reading it and really inspires me on how to handle problems. Keep it up and looking forward read more from you.
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Zofia October 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I agree that life is really a package deal…This makes me realize some things in life…Thanks!!
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psalmato October 8, 2011 at 5:47 am

Life is a box full package. Excitement, bad things, happy times and many more . wow what a post. It just down on me that not life itself is a package but everything around you is a package, just like your husband. you chose him with the package too, good or bad. What a great post. Thanks, it made me reflect on life for a minute.
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Tammie October 13, 2011 at 1:22 am

Hi…For me, this is inspiring and I think I have to share it then…
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Helga October 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Life is definitely a package deal in every way…Like in love, if you love, there is always pain…
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Zia October 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Life is of course a package deal and all we have to do is accept it and make the most out of it…
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Tammie October 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Thank you for letting us know about this post…This is inspiring…
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Marcella November 28, 2011 at 9:37 am

The reality of life is that life comes with problem, if there’s no problems means no learning. And we came into this life to learn. :)
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