How To Live A Happy Life In The Angry 21st Century — Part One
By Glenn Fisher, Editor at Creating Wealth
How much of your life do you spend angry?
How much time do you waste complaining about people — either at work, or in your home life?
How much time do you spend thinking how much better things are for other people than they are for you?
I dare say it’s more time than you’d like to admit, right? We’re a pretty screwed up society that way.
I don’t blame you.
The mainstream media is set up to instill a sense of jealousy and resentment in us all (and not just the news, I’m talking about TV entertainment too).
The vast majority of our politicians have been forced into self-serving isolation, and any open-minded honesty is likely to be met with derision or hostility.
And the dawn of 24-hour social media means you have a live running reminder that while you’re stuck earning money for your family, someone else is out having fun.
There’s no wonder we’re such an angry lot.
This week, though, I want to make sure that anyone reading can identify and admit to being a part of this problem, and take ownership of it to break out of the trap.
Ultimately, though, we’re going to be talking about how to live a wealthier life…
I’ll be talking about the benefits of filling your life with mind-expanding culture, rather than envy-inducing TV… about developing a better sense of what’s happening in the world, rather than living in ignorant frustration… and how learning about the power of gratitude can directly improve your ability to make money.
Be warned, at times it will feel like we’re veering dangerously into self-help… that’s because the self-help industry has owned many of the key phrases… but this isn’t self-help… not really… it’s about self-awareness… it’s just about living well. And there’ll even be a little bit of science.
The Problem With Britain’s Got Talent
I don’t watch BGT; in fact, I think it’s awful and one of the reasons most people are unhappy or angry in their lives.
Now, I know this will rub a lot of people up the wrong way. I’m sure for many it’s a bit of fun seeing someone sing off-key or backflip over a basket full of duck eggs is hilarious.
BGT apologists will also tell me it’s giving people an opportunity to realise their dreams.
Sorry — but I’m not buying it. The show is at best a waste of time, and, at worse, an attack on people’s creativity and confidence… all veiled as light entertainment.
And it’s not just BGT I have a problem with. And nor is my ire focused purely at ‘talent shows’. Faux-business shows like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den annoy me too.
All of these shows have something in dangerous in common — they teach us to laugh at people with ideas that don’t fit in with the mainstream expectation.
This, however you look at it, is a bad thing to teach.
If your child came to you and said “Mother, Father… I’m going to be a famous trapeze artist,” you would not laugh them out of the room (or off the stage)… you would either support them to see how they could realise the ambition, or explain to them why they should also consider some other options as it’s not a particularly well-proven career path.
The other problem with these shows is that even those who do ‘succeed’ and make it through the public’s approval are then paid off in one huge go. They ‘win’ and get rich and famous overnight.
That’s not how it works.
It takes time and hard work to build real wealth. Not five rounds of public elimination and an interview with two self-made Geordies.
So, not only are we showing that people who have out-of-the-box ideas should be ridiculed, we’re showing that if you have an accepted idea you can become rich overnight.
It’s a recipe for disaster…
And sadly we’ve been cooking from that recipe for many, many years.
OK. You take a minute to moan at the screen telling me why those shows are really just harmless fun and then I’ll tell you why this all matters to us.
Look, I’m sorry to be a spoil sport, but I just think you’re selling yourself short if you work hard through the week only to reward yourself by watching BGT at the weekend.
Anyway, hold that thought, because before I start suggesting why all this matters and how understanding the inherent negativity in these shows is scientifically harming your ability to succeed…
I want to throw in mainstream news programmes like Newsnight and Question Time too. They belong with BGT, Dragon’s Den and the like.
I personally believe these shows have become a bit of a joke and do also damage your ability to live a happy and wealthy life.
What were once independent opportunities to question ideas and report unbiased on world events have become strange clip shows and pantomimes in a misjudged attempt to increase ratings and please an increasingly corporate-minded national broadcaster.
Seeing two politicians attempt to shout at one another, whilst simultaneously trying to remember how much information they’re actually allowed to give away or how far they are allowed to stray from the party line will never do anything more than incite acute frustration in a rational viewer like you or me. They are not the mediums for intelligent discussion.
OK. So, I’ve called out quite a few TV programmes there, all of which I believe have a negative effect on your ability to live a wealthier life.
They do so because they are negative. They promote heckling… derision… a lack of empathy. They encourage us to laugh at people… to assess people not on their talents but on their flaws. None of this is good for you when it comes to living a wealthier life.
And as I said at the outset… as well as mainstream media being designed to instill a sense of jealousy, resentment and mockery… our political system has also reached a critical point.
Programmes like Question Time and silly headline-hunting interviews on Newsnight have helped to lead our political class down a rabbit hole. Who can blame them for becoming so self-interested? It’s all they can do to protect themselves.
It’s easy to get angry and stressed over the constant bad press you see about our ‘leaders’ mucking about. But the fact is, just getting angry about it doesn’t really do anything for you — in fact, just like those TV shows I mentioned, it stops (literally, biologically) you from being able to live a happy and wealthy life.
I will explain. But before I do, I also suggested that the dawn of 24-hour social media is adding to this pervading culture of jealousy, resentment, and frustration. So, let’s just expand that a little…
I Wish I Was There
Of course, just as there are many positives with the first two issues I mentioned, social media can help us live a wealthier life — if used correctly.
But we are willing to let it do a great deal of damage too.
Think how often you check various social media platforms during the day and think about how many times you see friends out and about having fun whilst you’re stuck in an office at work.
How do you think that affects your mindset? You think it’s positive? Of course not. Even though you might not realise it, in your body stuff is going on that reacts to this seemingly throwaway data and it isn’t good.
Indeed, as well as being frustrated about seeing others enjoying themselves while you’re not… think of all the little videos you laugh at each day of people making mistakes, screwing up or being dumb in front of a camera.
The short-term giggle is fun — sure. But the damage you’re doing to yourself in the long run is not good.
So, to recap, let me set down again what I said at the start:
• The mainstream media is set up to instil a society of jealousy and resentment in us all (and not just the news, I’m talking about TV entertainment too).
• The vast majority of our politicians have been forced into self-serving isolation, and any open-minded honesty is likely to be met with derision or hostility.
• And the dawn of 24-hour social media means you have a live running reminder that while you’re stuck earning money for your family, someone else is out having fun.
What’s this got to do with creating wealth and living a richer lifestyle?
Well, that’s what I’m going to reveal in part two tomorrow…
We’re going to look at how all the anger and negativity we live with in the 21st Century is biologically harming us… and how you can take active steps to begin to reverse the damage.
So, join me again later and we’ll pick up on this and hopefully get you living a wealthier life immediately.
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