Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Antidote

Just as I felt that I had my personal philosophy nailed down pretty well, I read another book that shakes everything up.
The book is "The Antidote", by Oliver Burkeman. It's basically an attack on our trying too hard to be happy. It simply says that it's alright to fail. Trying to achieve goals too passionately may be, in itself, the cause of our unhappiness.
He starts out by going to a seminar held at the "Glass Cathedral". Thousands of people are getting hyped up and enthused, but do their lives really change or is it just a temporary "fix"?
From my experience, I have to say that setting high goals and positive affirmations and goal collages haven't really done much to improve my life. In fact, when it comes to finances, it may have done me a lot of harm. I always start off with the goal of becoming a millionaire and then I lose everything I have and more in the effort. If I set the goal of moving to Mexico and living on the beach I may have achieved it years ago.
In this book the author talks about how being too focused on a goal can be disastrous. He used as an example the 1996 expeditions to Mount Everest. That was a terrible year because three teams decided to summit on the same day. There was a traffic jam at the "Hilary Step' a bottleneck near the summit. Had they turned back at the time they should have there would have been no causalities. But each team was too focused on reaching the summit, that day. Well, it turned dark and it started to blizzard. It was a disaster, much like my stock, option, and commodity trading. Only I have yet to die because of it. Although there have been many times that I've been suicidal.
The book goes on to say that it's alright to fail. In fact failure is a normal part of life. Basically he explores the acceptance of our lives and being happy with it. It reminds me of an old song "You Can't Roller skate in a Buffalo Herd, but You can be Happy if You've a Mind Too". If I remember right, Roger Williams sang that. It summarizes much of the rest of the book.
Well, I've got a lot to think about. I think I'll go back to my visualizations, and goal setting, but I won't worry about it so much. In fact, it may be that I have to find out what God has planned for me since my plans rarely work out, anyway.
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