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Content Marketing & SEO Blog

Blog about startup growth strategies revolving around content marketing, SEO, CRO, and social media marketing.

Why we perceive people to be greater than ourselves

Sean Smith

If you notice, the higher "rank" you are or the more "successful" they are, things never seem to change. Only the scale of circumstances change. You're just as capable as those you admire. There are only steps and plunges laying between you and where you aspire to be. Keep your feet and keep treading.

Life is a balance of ranks and ladders. We try to climb ladders to get to what we imagine would make us happy, what we imagine we want, and what we imagine that we need.

We do not need anymore than we have unless what we have is not sustaining us at all. The fundamental fact is that someone who makes $50,000/y is just as capable of happiness as one who makes $500,000/y the only difference is the scale. Everything may be scaled up 10x but happiness does not scale. You will not be 10x more happy when you have 10x more money. In the same way that having 10 babies will not make you happier than having one. 

With more material comes more potential for loss. With more potential for loss comes more room for stress. With more stress comes less ability of happiness. 

This reminds me of the story of the New York executive on a trip in Costa Rica.  

The executive is taking a vacation with his family, a vacation that he only gets a couple of weeks of each year to unwind and cool down from the constant stress that he endures on a daily basis. 

The executive is walking on the beach in the morning and far down the beach he sees a fisherman knee deep in the water. He walks over to the man. 

"What are you doing?" the executive asks. 

"Fishing" says the tico ("Tico" is the colloquial term for a native of Costa Rican)

"What is that that you are using?" said the executive.

"It's a type of net and snare that I invented"  said the tico as he pulled in a huge catch of fish

"That's incredible, do you sell these?!"  


"Why not?"  inquired the executive

 "Because I don't need to, I use it to catch fish and feed my friends and family, that's enough for me" 

"But, you could make a serious business out of selling these" 

"Why would I want to do that" said the tico

"Because you could be rich! You could move you and your family to the US, get this net patented, get a manufacturer to start churning these out, selling them for $50-100 profits a piece."

"And then what?" the tico asked

"Well you would stay in the states and grow your business for a about 5-10 years, hire a good amount of staff and workers, creatives who can market your product for you. Gain retailing contracts to sell your products in stores." 

 "And then?"

"Then you could potentially IPO, or sell your company entirely to a much larger company for a very good payout. Then you could take your family and yourself and buy a home somewhere like here in Costa Rica, come down here every once in a while and fis....." 

The tico looks up at the executive and smiles, "I am happy here, as I am, I don't need more money to do what I'm already doing. My family and I are happy with what we have, and that's more than enough for us." 

This does not mean do not be ambitious, do not want more, it is human nature to want more, to strive for improvement. It is in finding solace in what we have that we may find peace and happiness. If you are happy with what you have you can walk through life untethered by the stress that comes from an unquenchable hunger for more.  I've found that in being happy with where you are, you can gain a better scope of where you aught to be, where you would like to be. In this peace you will be more apt to see how you can get to where you want to be. 

Studies have shown that when your mind is the most at rest you have the most capacity for creative, lateral thinking. This is why ideas come pouring through in the shower, on the toilet, when you're just about to drift off to sleep, or even in the middle of the night. 

When you let go of the pursuit of finding the answers you desperately crave, they will be presented to you.  

Be happy where you are, or you will never be happy where you're going, even if you get there.