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5 False Equivalencies that Lead to Personal and Professional Unhappiness

Personal and Professional Unhappiness

Here are some false equivalencies that we tend to believe that serve us badly in life. Important that we challenge them intentionally. They can quickly lead down a path of darkness, discontent, personal and professional unhappiness, and harm to self and others.

POPULAR=GOOD

Lots of things are popular. Facebook is popular. McDonald’s is popular. Walmart is popular. Donald Trump is popular. Milli Vanilli was popular. All serve(d) a purpose. None are really in service to the greater Good (Capital G). Never make yourself believe that just because you are popular, that you are good. Good is good, popular is popular. Think gooses and ganders when evaluating if what you’ve created is truly for the Greater Good.

FAST=BETTER

Tell that to the hare. You can race ahead because you believe that only with voracious speed will you win the race. Fast without clear attention means that you’re headed towards a finish line you really do not understand (see WeWork). Don’t get ahead of yourself. Consequences are bound to catch up with you and leave you face down in the dust. Work on turtling for a while.

WANTS=NEEDS

I hear people all the time talk about creating products or services that people want in the most derogatory of ways; they want to read less, watch more, make it faster, make it easier, etc. People are literally building solutions for the lowest common denominator of the human psyche. If you’re in the change business, creating something that people are familiar with is the surest recipe for drudgery. Good businesses move people to be better than they imagined. The rest are just fuel in the same old status quo machine.

MONEY=SUCCESS

Hard to count the number of times that has been debunked. People with money are not more successful, they are simply able to buy more sh-t. More sh-t has never proven to be a sound recipe for any form of happiness.  A more helpful outlook is Money=Creativity. People pay you to flaunt your creative chops. So go out there, get more creative, and flex your imagination. No one worth surrounding yourself with cares about what you have, they care about who you are. Show them in everything you do.

MAKE A LIVING=LIVING

It’s a living. Maybe it’s a dying. If you are stuck in a loop of production and consumption mired in feelings of discontent, you are not making a living as a form of living – you are in the process of dying. Mummifying your real purpose in conveniences means you are a convenience store – 24/7 you think about what you want to be doing with your life, all the while succumbing to “thou shalt”. Get clear on what ushers meaning into your life and make that your daily work.

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Written by
Mark Stolow