If you are a generally happy person who fits the following description I have news for you:
You go about your business and stay out of other peoples’ business
You take care of yourself and your family
You have the means to enjoy life on your terms
You eschew the trappings of Social Media
You just want to live and enjoy your life on your terms
You are truly happy and comfortable with who you are
If this genuinely sounds like you (and I do mean genuinely, not the fake you that you like to present to the world) then you suffer from a condition that is incurable in America in 2017 and, if you haven’t yet noticed, you will be hated and vilified.
I define the condition as being self-actualized, which is not a very sexy term, I admit.
Over the past many weeks, I have had more than a few incidents come up in which I have had the opportunity to look through the prism of other people. What I have found is that while some (few) people have legitimate disagreements or grievances with various decisions I have made, the vast majority of people, whether they be listeners of the show or close friends, or even family, are most troubled by the fact that I have done things either because I could do them or because I didn’t care what anyone thought about doing them. Interesting.
For example, last month I bought an item from Amazon that cost about $150. It arrived, and a few weeks later it broke, so I set out to return it. Amazon sent me a replacement, but in the process asked for the original item to be returned. The only problem was that the original item in question was big and bulky and the original packaging was long since gone (all things I made clear to Amazon in various back and forth communiques). The new item arrived, works great, and I thought the issue was resolved. Lo and behold, a few days later, Amazon informs me I am being charged for both since the original never arrived back to them.
Fine. Keep your money.
Oh, man…the outrage from people around me…friends, family, my dogs…how could I just roll over and let this happen?
Because I can.
It’s $150…I am fortunate to be in a position in life where $150 is honestly chump change, which truly bothers people. It genuinely makes too many people very, very upset that I could lose $1000 tomorrow and not have it effect my life (and remember these are my alleged friends! And yes, I am re-evaluating as I write this).
When some people who I was stupid enough to share the story with challenged me on this, I simply stated that I had done my due diligence and tried my best to cut through the red tape, but in the end, realized that $150 was not worth more hours of stress via writing, calling, yelling, screaming, and getting worked up over a meager $150. Boy, did that piss some people off.
But do you know what pissed some off even more? The fact that I genuinely didn’t care.
One person close to me said “how can you just let this happen?” When I responded that it was not a significant amount of money and it all works out in the end I was met with a series of sighs, grunts and har-umphs.
A couple of weeks ago I shared a story on the air of a woman calling 911 on me about my perfectly happy and safe dogs in my truck while I grabbed a few items in the store and my intention to exact revenge against her. While some people had legitimate ethical disagreements with me, when reading through the emails the show received, it became clear that most people were upset for two very clear reasons; they were angry I had a legitimate way to find this woman and impact her life and/or they were angry that I truly didn’t care that people were upset with me over my course of action.
We live in a Social Media world that defines self-worth on how many likes, clicks, and comments we get. In other words, we don’t matter unless other people say we do. It’s an appalling extension of America’s self-esteem deficit in which we do not live life for ourselves, we live it to be approved of by everyone else, including total strangers that we define as “friends” because they follow us on social media. It is, to be frank, disgusting.
I always knew that not caring about other peoples’ opinions was one of the true keys to happiness but never before has it been so true. In 2017, people will tell you that not caring about others’ opinions equals not caring about other people, which is dopey beyond words but sadly true to the majority of people of all ages. We’re all so desperate to be loved and accepted and praised that when someone else challenges us, we simply curl up into a little ball in the corner and ask the world to leave us alone as we acquiesce entirely and change who we are solely so that we will be “loved.” News flash; love is based in the acceptance of another person for all that they are. Challenging them is fine, but only with the baseline view that they (whoever they are) are their own human walking this earth like the rest of us and making decisions for their own journey. We either love them and accept them or we don’t. News flash #2; we aren’t actually in their lives to change them, we’re in their life because we get something positive from them, and hopefully the reverse is true as well.
I realize I lost far too many people with that last paragraph, which I find so sad. As so many of you live your life for others, you’re not living at all. As we have mentioned on the air multiple time, study after study shows that the number one regret of dying people is having lived life for others and cared what other people thought of them. We are currently immersed as a society in exactly that mindset. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to achieving a certain station and/or status in life. People who are made uncomfortable by your ability to live a “better” life than others are not worth your time. There is also nothing wrong with being unapologetic about who you are. In fact, I am certain that one of the keys to true happiness is loving who you are and, basically being shameless about it. Learn to not care and you’ll be amazed at the results.