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All You Need to be Happy is a Little Perspective

We live in amazing times. Food is abundant, you are unlikely to die of polio, and globally we are connected to billions of people with whom we could potentially start friendships, relationships and do business with. Why is it that we are all so depressed and anxious? If it takes more than 30 seconds to download a YouTube video, we start throwing shit. If your flight is delayed 45 minutes, you say you trip was a nightmare.

Let me tell you why we are all so fucking depressed - we have no perspective and we are filled with expectations and entitlement. Let’s start with perspective. If you think your life is shit, consider the fact that 1 billion people don't have access to running water. I live in South Africa. My workshop, where I run a heavy machinery finance and parts business is located in Dunoon in Cape Town. Every day I drive past thousands of shanty houses. When it rains, the river rises and floods these tin houses, and because there is no drainage, it takes weeks for the water to recede. Every Thursday I leave the garbage outside to be collected. The can is filled with oily rags, waste pipes, and grease covered metal, yet people still rummage through it and find articles of value. On Sunday, people from the local church rent the outside portion of my workshop to hold their church service. In summer, temperatures reach 35 degrees. They are surrounded by big ugly chunks of metal. When I come to open up at 9am, I am greeted by huge smiles.... when I come and close (6 hours later) the smiles are even bigger. Every week I ask them why they don't look for a nice place - they look at me as if I am smoking crack - why would they move if they love where they are!!!! One of the church members is a street sweeper in Dunoon. Whenever I see him working on the streets, he waves and greets me with a toothy smile.

You need to get a big fucking dose of perspective on your own life. I am not throwing stones here - I also fall into lapses of self-pity and sadness. I am terrified by how people these days withdraw into themselves and obsess over their small world. Let me tell you what happens when you make your world small and self-centered- it breeds a toxic mix of entitlement and expectations. You start to believe you are entitled to success, fame, money and happiness. You expect other people make you happy, to recognize your strengths and to shower you with love and attention.

I am going to let you in on some truth that took me 50 years to realize. People will always disappoint you, take you for granted, ignore you and hurt you. You are not entitled to any of the things mentioned above. You need to work for everything you have - you need to take responsibility for your successes and your failures. You need to stop making excuses and waiting for life to happen to you. You need to go out into the world and get shit done, and DO NOT expect the world to welcome you with open arms - you need to work like a fucking dog to get what you want!

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