On the Surface, I seem to have it all... but inside I feel so disconnected...
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. ~Jim Carrey, Actor, Comedian, Human
It’s true money cannot buy happiness. In my research and while working with clients who “seem to have it all” but feel disconnected and unhappy, here is what I have noticed
They have similar stories…
Successfully sold company/ stocks or other investments are doing really well
Family members living on legacy wealth trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives
The person they love is high net worth or high profile spouse
Are a High Net Worth or High Profile / Famous Person
Retired with Plenty of Time, Money and Resources
Came into Money through Winnings, Inheritance or Trust Funds
And they have a complex mix of concerns, issues and insecurities under the surface …
There is a strong desire to have more meaning and purpose in life – that is currently lacking Things that used to give great pleasure, are now only somewhat satisfying or even boring Tired or not interested in “Keeping up with The Jones" Life just doesn’t seem real – and there is a feeling of disconnection Feel uncertain as to whom to trust – and worry about privacy Maybe event worry about losing their money Some feel guilt for having what they have
These issues and concerns can cause real unhappiness in their lives.
Unfortunately, to people outside the situation, it seems that those who seem to "have it all ” lead the charmed and happy lives… but in reality it’s just not true.
These “charmed lives” people called “selfish”, “spoiled”, “ungrateful” and worse for appearing not to fully appreciate what they have and others do not. To those the negative words are being said to, it can leave them feeling guilt, hurt, shame, distrust or disconnected. The fact is…Every human being on this planet needs to feel like their life has meaning, purpose and value. And everyone wants to feel connected, love and happiness. period.
In a perfect world we would look stop looking at what people “have” and start looking at “who they are as a human being” and go from there. But since we don’t live in a perfect world, those that externally “have it all” need to look within, and start a journey to figure out how to make their inside life feel whole, meaningful and purpose filled. This journey can begin by compassionately exploring “what needs to heal”, “who can I count on “what needs to change” and “what inner strengths do I already have” to help create a meaningful, satisfying and purpose filled inner life.
So what next…. It’s time to figure out what resources, support and tools you need to help you begin this journey.
Go pick out some books.
Talk to your friends.
Find a Coach or a Therapist to help you feel out your journey.
But do something… Because everyone deserves to find a happy equilibrium – and feel like you “have it all” inside and out.
And here are a few more quotes to inspire you to take the next step.
Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. –Kevin Kruse
“When you have a sense of your own identity and a vision of where you want to go in your life, you then have the basis for reaching out to the world and going after your dreams for a better life.” ~ Stedman Graham
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer.” ~Author Unknown
In this post I explore why being wealthy or famous, is not all it’s cracked up to be, and I will share at the end 3 things to ease the pressures that come with money or being high profile.
Based on what I hear from my clients and the extensive research I have done, most of the planet seems to believe if you have money, success or fame, you have no right to complain, and you should always be happy. After all, you have what others only dream of… right?
So ask your self these three questions:
+ How would you feel if someone told you, you’re selfish for being unhappy? + What if someone you trusted as a friend, posted a very private picture to the web? + Have you ever had a less than graceful moment, and said something stupid that you regret, but everyone around you now won’t let you forget it? + And how would you feel if every time you went out for drinks or dinner, your friends always expected you to foot the bill?
Such are the things faced on a daily basis when money and fame are part of your life.
Without exception if you are human you have basic needs (sleep, eat, drink), you need love (companionship, trust and support) and you need compassion (sometimes to be forgiven for mistakes you make). But for some reason, those who are wealthy or famous are sometimes held to different standards, rules and expectations.
In addition to the amazing and wonderful perks that come with money or fame (which are regularly covered by the media), what you don’t hear talked about as often is the personal cost and the strange dark rules you are impacted by once you cross over into realm of money or fame. Professional entertainers like actors or musicians, aren’t the only ones who face these challenges. Wealthy families/individuals, c-level executives, high tech founders, professional athletes, authors and those in politics face these pressures too.
So what are the Top 3 dark rules…
Rule 1: You have no right to complain - if you are famous or wealthy
This wide spread belief results in those who have money or fame becoming increasingly isolated and private – which only perpetuates the following ugly belief: If you have money or fame, and you complain about anything or openly state you are unhappy…people think
You are a snob. You are spoiled. You are selfish. You are evil. You are shallow. You are whiner. You are self-entitled. And the list goes on…
Rule 2: You have it all, so it’s okay for me to betray you
In addition to the “you have no right to complain” rule, there are other vulnerabilities wealthy and celebrity’s face, like not knowing who they can honestly trust.
Think about it…Imagine you found out a friend stole $20 out of your wallet, how betrayed you would feel. Now imagine if someone you trusted embezzled over a million dollars from the family inheritance your Grandfather worked hard to earn?
But it gets even worse… what if that betrayal became published across online and television media.
How can you know if people really care about you or are they are only “fake friends” sticking around for the money or your status? With this kind of consistent uncertainty, it’s enough for any human being to experience a toxic mix of fear, guilt, distrust, anger, anxiety and loneliness. Whether or not you are wealthy or famous, we cannot forget, we are all humans, and crave genuine, no strings attached, loving human relationships, which money or fame can never buy.
Rule 3: If you are any kind of a public figure, you have no right to any privacy
Some of the paparazzi (not all) have crossed the border into stalker status. When your media job rewards and requires you to be aggressive, (you have to get the shot or the story at all costs), then privacy and any chance of normalcy is shattered for someone in the public eye.
An actress can find herself thinking twice about going to In-N-Out Burgers, if it means seeing a photo of her chowing down on a cheese burger online and all the follow up, snide remarks about how “she is looking chubby, and now we know why”. And the pressures have only gotten worse in this digital age of instant information.
Eminem sings about the pressures of being a celebrity in his song Monster:
"Wanted to receive attention for my music; wanted to be left alone in public. Excuse me for wanting my cake and eat it too, and wanting it both ways ...."
So how can being rich, successful or famous suck less? Here are three best practices to help for individuals who are struggling with these types of situations. (All of which have been have worked well for my clients)
FIRST: Create a personal space where you feel safe and surround yourself with people who will be real with you…
When I work with clients my focus is to first create a safe and sacred no judgment space where they can be imperfect, unhappy, lack clarity, struggle with their purpose and meaning in life. In other words, they can be a real human being with me. Only then can someone feel safe enough to find a way to navigate the muddied waters caused by the complexities of their life and authentically find their own personal purpose and meaning, create a balanced life, and live their own definition of happiness.
Outside of the coaching sacred space, it is also very critical to have in your life, at least a few people you can truly be yourself with. These are people who can help keep you sane and grounded when dealing with daily pressure. They can be real with you and tease you, laugh with you and be a shoulder to cry on when you need a friend.
Two great examples of safe and trusted connections include: Oprah has her best friend Gayle and Angelina has Brad Pitt and thier beloved children. Having these kinds of strong relationships can help you wade through those “fake” friends, endless lines of people with their hands out waiting to take your money, and waste your time, and in the end, not really give a damn about you.
SECOND: Learn how to acclimate to your life’s reality … as graciously as possible
Life changes and shifts for everyone, but usually when you come into money or finally achieve success or fame, your current life now may suddenly be very different from what it used to be.
Make no mistake, you are still you inside, so it is important to take the time, and look at who you were and who want to be. From this, you can see what your core values are that you will carry with you throughout your life. It can also help you to identify new skills you now need to help you navigate with your life.
One skill I help a lot of clients with, is learning how to graciously say “No”, to people in their life, without feeling guilty or worrying about hurting their relationships.
To give you an example of gracefully saying "No", I'd like to share with you a personal story of how I met Jason Bateman and a very important and gracious lesson he taught me When I was teenager (a long time ago), I was at Six Flags Magic Mountain with friends in Southern California, waiting to go on a Roller Coaster. I looked over and was excited to see in the same line we were in, was Jason Bateman waiting in line with a young lady.
After the ride, we all got off and headed for the exit. I went directly toward Jason and asked him for an autograph(a practice I never do any more), and he looked me in directly in the eye and said, “I would be really grateful if you would respect the fact that I am on a date right now, and not ask for my autograph.”And I said “Of course, it was nice to meet you” and he replied “thanks” and left.
It left quite an impression on me, one of deep respect, even though he said “No” to me. In fact this experience with Jason, (along with a list of other unique personal experiences) taught me valuable lessons and insights that led me to become the Empowerment Coach I am today...So thank you Jason Bateman.
THIRD: Let go of what no longer serves you …
Be being willing to let go of people, ideas and things that are hold you back and are maybe even causing you unnecessary drama or conflict in your life. It’s time to reflect and meditate on what is in your life is helping you find happiness and what is not. What you believe about yourself, your time, your capacity, your money may be helping you or hurting you. It is critical you identify what is holding you back and let it go. Answer these questions right now to see how you might be impacting your own happiness:
What negative thoughts are impacting my happiness?
What am I spending my time, money and people on, that is not worth it?
How much do I let other people’s beliefs about me, impact me?
What people in my life are inserting their negativity and drama into my life?
So there it is…being wealthy or famous, is not all it’s cracked up to be.
In the end, we are all sleeping under the same moon, so let’s be kind and compassionate to one another (and especially to ourselves) And if you need support from who empathizes where you are coming from, I welcome the opportunity to help you.
Let me end this post with a quote from a woman who I greatly respect... Oprah Winfrey: "Though I am grateful for the blessing of wealth, it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I am just wearing better shoes."
As a Private Empowerment Coach, my calling is to help you discover, define and create a wonderful life, while helping you eliminate and heal anything holding you back from authentic happiness. Share this with someone you care about