Destroying happiness

Seth Godin has a post today about how marketers are really destroying happiness by creating in us the want, the desire for stuff.

It’s exactly right.

Every moment, when you’re just present to that moment, is perfect. It’s our thoughts that it needs to be different, our thoughts about a future that needs to be different, that causes suffering.

And very often, that thought will be about things that we desire, things that we want. A new car, more money, a new spouse.

And getting those things feels good. For a while.

Because it’s not the thing that makes us feel good. It’s the absense of desire. It’s the fact that there’s no longer desire, and when there’s no desire, there’s just presence and peace. We momentarily wake up to the present moment, and it feels great.

But soon, another desire takes over, and we go for another ride.

Thanks, marketers!

The solution is obvious: Stop believing that the thing is going to change anything. Sure, you can have the desire for a new car. I’m no puritanist, I like things. But stop believing that it’s going to make you feel better, stop believing it’s going to change anything real.

I think almost anyone who have become wealthy will tell you that it feels great, but then after a little while, you’re still just yourself. And now you don’t even have the dream about “some day in the future I’m going to be wealthy and that’ll fix all my problems” to hold on to. Now you’re really on your own.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

P.S. Check out Coach TV Episode #4 for more on how to achieve peace without the new car.