What is a human lifestyle, my friends? Lifestyle is defined as learning how to live well. Again, I like it because it’s so vague because living well for me might be different than living well for you. Living well for you might be different for someone else and that’s okay. We don’t have to live the same life but you got to find out what it is and the areas here for living, how to live well.
Number one is wealth. And this is not in a superficial vein, I’m not a person that talks about money as important, all that kind of stuff like that. Yeah, it’s a tool – money’s a tool that in our society creates a sense of comfort and freedom, but I’ve been on record saying this and it’s something I’ve learned through the research and I’ve learned through different documentaries and there’s truth in this next statement. So money doesn’t bring happiness. Money doesn’t bring happiness, and if you’re telling me I’m full of whatever that’s okay, because here’s what the research and the data says to a person who does not have their basic needs met, to someone that is homeless, doesn’t have a roof over their head, doesn’t have food, clean water, doesn’t have the resources for life, to that person additional money does bring happiness to that person. But to anybody that has all of their basic needs met, they have everything that they need in life, additional money doesn’t bring additional happiness. Because if that was the case the richer the person, the happier they would be. And trust me when I tell you this, that’s a false thought.
Sometimes people say like “hey, how come people with money…” Jim Carrey was quoted saying this. Jim Carrey was/ is very big on “money doesn’t bring happiness” because he’s actually a voice for mental illness and mental health and he talks about depression and he’s just a really wonderful resource. He was saying, “Hey, money doesn’t bring happiness,” and someone says, “How come it’s all you rich people that say money doesn’t bring happiness?” and he likes looks and smiles like, “Well, what if the ones with a lot of money be the ones to be able to tell you that money doesn’t bring happiness?” It’s very very very true. So you have to find out what wealth means, and wealth doesn’t always have to be these cheap little things called treasury notes, called money. Wealth could be the relationships in your life, wealth could be the knowledge in your life, wealth could be the love in your life, wealth can be the compassion in your life. Man, we could be wealthy in many different ways. If I die, by the way I don’t really care to die with a lot of money, but I care to be a really wealthy man with love and in life experiences and that’s good enough for me.
Money for sure brings freedom and it is a gift and I do believe that money is a vehicle or a tool that brings freedom. I think our perspective can also be the same. There’s a book that I’ve suggested and I’m pretty sure you’ve probably read it but it’s called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ and it was written by a gentleman named Victor Frankl in World War II concentration camps. Heavy read, short but heavy, and he was able to, by changing his perspective, find freedom, despite living in those circumstances. So money is a vehicle that allows us and it’s a gift that allows us to bring freedom but I think the right perspective and attitude can also be very freeing.
Besides wealth for your lifestyle, is also your health. And again, that’s a very subjective thing. I mean you can go to the doctor and they can give you some results and they could tell you if you’re healthy or not but there’s just more to health. Mind, body, spirit, soul, relationships, you got to find out what that is for you. Your communication – a lot of people have a hard time with communication. That’s one thing I get a lot of compliments on. They say you take all these things that we always think about and you put them in a way that’s easy to understand . Well that’s a skill. What I mean is that I’ve trained at this, I’ve worked at this and I’ve gotten there. But communication is so important to overall lifestyle because if you can’t get out your thoughts and feelings you’re always going to feel like you’re kind of trapped. You’re always going to feel misunderstood and to have a good lifestyle you want to feel understood.
The next one is travel and culture, and sometimes people say I don’t have the resources or the means to travel. Even traveling to different parts of the United States, even on a road trip or something like that, there’s a lot of experiences we get that take us out of our current perspective. I’ve shared this with many of you before – when I started my recovery journey I didn’t have the ability, the means, the resources, to be able to travel, I didn’t. It wasn’t even like a thought. And someone told me it’s really important for you to travel and get a better understanding of the world and culture. So what I did was I started watching this TV show called ‘Parts Unknown’ with Anthony Bourdain. I ended up falling in love with Anthony Bourdain and how he just captures moments with words, and how he articulates stuff, and how he would go to the most obscure parts of the world, and sit down with people in their homes and have meals with them, and teach about the history of the country, but I felt like I traveled the world with that man. Rest in peace. He passed away from suicide a few years ago, but man did I travel the world just sitting on my couch. So when people say they can’t travel it’s like “hey there’s ways you could travel.” We’re living in a time and generation era where you can see the whole damn world from your phone and that show really helped me.
Your education is a part of your lifestyle. It doesn’t mean formal education, it could be passive education, this and that. So the part that we have there is a combination of personal philosophy, attitude, activity and results, creating your lifestyle. So all the four forces we talked about create your lifestyle, what you create, and how you create it is all on you, it’s none of my business, as I like to say.
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