▼Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall & Guo Meimei▼
The Misunderstanding of Happiness (108)
MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2014 EDITION | VOLUME 39
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Life is not a performance.
Otherwise, why continue living when the show is over and stardom dims?
Even Lauren Bacall was circumspect: “Stardom isn't a profession, it's an accident.” And the danger with modeling one's life after fallible human beings we call “stars” is loss of identity.
These million and billion dollar stars, athletes and artists are very often vulnerable people who are battling demons their agents and powerful PR folks do well to keep out of the public eye. And performance — often — is only part of an imperfect cocktail of coping mechanisms including substance abuse many artists and high performers living on the edge employ. Often to their detriment.
Often, again, unbeknownst to the naive.
After all, haven't we all been told the myth that we're in control when really, we aren't? Completely, at least? Which is why so many succumb to stress-related health problems? Precisely what I recently told two European friends who “hate feeling stuck” and think more clamor for control equals happiness and restoration. Except life is a bit more complicated than that.
But that's where knowing there's more to life than simply making a buck, becoming famous and enjoying the pleasures that come with all that, helps.
NFL and Dallas Cowboys legend Deion Sanders once talked about winning, if not a Super Bowl, a World Series (both of which he played) and feeling so lost and empty afterwards that he ordered a brand new Lamborghini thinking that would help him feel better, only to descend deeper into depression.
Some have it all. Yet throw it all away.
Ours has been a hard life. But we sweat it out rather than asking for sympathy or playing it the (Chinese) Guo Meimei way. Plus, winging it has never been an option for us eventhough we manage somehow to have fun while keeping both fun and success authentic.
And so why while I loved Robin Williams (who struggled with substance abuse and depression) as I did/do Kurt Cobain and Michael Jackson and many other gifted artists who struggled with demons they never unfortunately fully came to terms with, we are reminded of the need for a core purpose for living, for without it, and without the right support system around an individual, life can come to a tragic halt if not appear meaningless and a never-ending torture.
There IS a way to Take Control of Your Happiness. And rich or poor, there ARE better coping mechanisms for staying uncompromised and living a high definition life modeled after pursuing and Protecting Your Destiny. And no matter your struggle, the Keys To Mental Toughness are within reach. Just remember: