Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seeds of Success: Why what people want is not what they REALLY want?

A lot of people say they know what they want, but actually they do not. Only way a drastic event would lead them to make a drastic realization that life is too precious to spend on trivial things. Below are why they get it wrong.


Strong Consumerism Sentiments

Have you heard of the term 'retail therapy'? Have you seen MLM commercial with a guy posing next to a Mercedes? Today, society puts so much pressure on us to have branded clothes, expensive cars and fancy hangout places (star bucks). All of these are things we don't need. But they have shaped our lifestyle. These are all done through advertising to convince you that you 'need' these products. But is that important to you? Is there nothing more important?

Peer Pressure

When you buy a new fancy phone, what would you do afterwards? A lot of you show it to your friends. Once you finish showing off to all your friends, you get bored with it. And then your friend goes buy a better hand phone, and shows off too. So, what is the point of all this.

"Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about."-anon


What you REALLY want is not what others want, and because of that the journey would be different. If your friend's life involves showing off his new hand phone, does that mean you have to do the same?

They don’t know why they want and never stop to know it

I explained this in an earlier article here. But basically it's just that these people never really take the initiative to invest some time to think about what they really want in their life. If they do not do so, then, their life would control them, and not they themselves who are controlling life.


Above is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is taught in basic management lectures, but almost all do not understand its significance. Let me put all the three points into the Maslow’s hierarchy context.

Peer Pressure: Belonging And Love Needs - You want to be accepted by your group of friends. Don't worry, real friends won't care what hand phone you have.

Consumerism: Esteem Needs - Buying a Gucci bag does not make you a better person. You're image or reputation is not necessarily better nor do people really care. If you really achieved something, it speaks for itself.

Observe the top most section of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-actualization: Personal Growth and Fulfillment. That is the answer. We just need to focus our time and efforts in developing ourselves. Don’t care about having no friends. I’m sure you will find great people as your friends, on your journey on self-improvement. You don’t need to care about recognition, getting ‘apex university’ title or a ‘datukship’, just focus on growing.

Anyway, I’m sure you get titles and recognition along the way (My father's friend threw it away because he says it makes him feel old, do we really need it?). This is the noblest cause. This is what I mean as ‘Doing Things for right reasons’ not money, not status, not shallow friends but the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Be.You.

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