Everywhere you turn, there is evidence that suggests people live a “me first” attitude. While it is encouraged that you take care of your personal needs before you devote your time to others, many consider this to mean that unless they are a billionaire, they cannot be bothered to help others. That’s where the problem starts.
A society cannot exist with disjoint members. There is a need for interaction, as fulfillment cannot be truly realized if you only live for yourself.
Making Meaningful Connections
In a place like Atlanta, Georgia, it is easy to get lost in a pattern of work-home-sleep. You wake up early, still feeling exhausted from yesterday’s grueling workday, but you make it to the office and do it all over again. When you get the chance, you meet some friends, spend your hard-earned money on material things, and go home feeling happy for the moment. However, this is not enough to live a meaningful life.
Don’t even think that this is all you can do if you are not affluent. If busy people with successful careers such as Geoffrey C. Dietrich, JD, can do it, so can you. Giving back to the community should be at the core of your existence, as it benefits your psyche and you make meaningful connections. You’ll never know when you’ll need a lawyer to defend you in court, but when you do, someone who is part of the community will be more than willing to take up the mantle if they know you as an upstanding citizen.
Because of the popularity of Marie Kondo right now, the question “does it spark joy?” seems to be thrown around every time someone is making a decision. And while her principle is all about decluttering one’s life, which is to say you have to let go of things that don’t give you joy, this does not mean you cannot replace those with more meaningful activities that put your time and money to good use.
If you feel as though something is missing in your life and you feel unaccomplished, devote yourself to helping local charities to find that sense of purpose. It helps to put your life in perspective and makes you wonder whether you feel unfulfilled because of material things you cannot afford or if you are longing for a lasting relationship. Adding joy back into your life may not be about your needs; it may be about what you can do for others.
A high-paying but stressful job sure gives people a hard time. Even if you don’t earn as much as Floyd Mayweather, your salary acts as a validation of your worth. If someone is willing to pay you this much, surely you’re indispensable, right? However, the hours you devote to your job may be making it hard to enjoy the money you’ve earned. You surround yourself with luxuries, but you cannot keep a steady relationship because that requires time and commitment. In short, money becomes your only ally and you are isolated from everyone else.
If you ask yourself whether you’re happy, it’s hard to come up with an answer because you should be happy with all you can afford, but that’s not what you feel deep down. Giving back to the community is not a replacement for an intimate relationship, but it can widen your horizons and give you a way to spend money in a manner that benefits others. It may go to renovating schools and providing housing for the less fortunate. For an unhappy person, seeing others happy because of your own effort may be a good start. If you learn to cut back on all the overtime you think you owe the company for the high salary they’re paying you, you may even be more involved in community development. Now that will make you so much happier than just staring at the four walls of your expensive house.
We live in a materialistic society that tells us happiness is synonymous with price tags. Learn to break away from this mindset to find true fulfillment.