Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Way Too Thin? Way Too Rich?

Denise Ryan, MBA, is a Certified Speaking Professional,a designation of excellence held by less than 10% of all professional speakers. The eternal quest for a youthful body (synonymous with thin) and financial wealth is something that seems to occupy the psyche of the majority of the western world. No, really, think about it, if you're not trying to earn a living or create wealth to escape the rat race, you're at the gym getting fit, reading magazines about how to get fit, at the pub or bar feeling guilty for partying too much (and not getting fit), reading glossy magazines that tell you that the only way to attract the opposite sex is to have the body of a Greek God a a wallet the size of Everest (plus a successful portfolio to match). Is it me, or is this just a little bit insane?. The following article by Denise Ryan is, in my view, on point.

"You CAN be Too Rich or Too Thin
I know that to many people this seems like heresy - these
are two goals that influence a great deal of human
behavior. But we've all seen someone who has clearly lost
too much weight. Often they think they still need to lose
more. And while it would seem that one could not be too
rich, there is a point at which increasing one's wealth no
longer increases one's happiness.

Here's the human dilemma - once we start to lose weight or
earn money, we gauge our success by every pound or every
dollar. At some point we start to equate our personal
value with dollars and pounds. If we gain weight, we're
fat losers, if we lose weight we're hot and successful.
Same thing with money. I don't know about you, but as my
business falls off with the recession, I feel like a

Here's how this has worked in my life - over the past
couple of years I've lost about 20 pounds. I was never fat
(although I certainly was starting to get there!) and to be
honest, most people haven't noticed. I'm pretty tall, so
it's not as noticeable on me as it would be on someone
shorter, and I've lost it gradually. I actually never
thought I weigh this little again - hell, I weigh less now
than I did in college.

Am I happy about this? Yes, but I still think I could lose
another pound or two. See how crazy we are? We lose
weight and we always think we could stand to just lose a
little more. We make more money and we think we could just
make a little more.... We poor humans are never satisfied.

This is not all bad - it keeps us in the game, keeps us
striving. But it also keeps us beating ourselves up. I
will not be happy with myself if I gain back 5 pounds even
though I'm still significantly lighter than I was and still
would weigh less than my original goal! I am unhappy that
I'm not going to make more money this year than last year
even though the world is in a terrible recession. So what
to do?

1.) Check in with what really brings you joy. I love
fitting into my new hot jeans, I won't lie. But I also
adore food - ice cream in the summer, chocolate all the
time, mouth is watering just thinking about it!
So if I really want something, I'm going to eat it. I'm
going to try not to beat myself up if I gain back a pound
or two. Hell, if no one noticed I lost 20 pounds are they
going to notice I gained three? I don't think so. If
you've lost touch with what brings you joy, think back
about the times in your life when you were the happiest.
What can you do to recreate that happiness?

2.) What REALLY means success to you? If I die skinny,
does that mean I had a great life? How about if I die
rich? I just want to be happy. I think if most of my life
was spent filled with joy, than I had a great life. What
does a great life mean to you? What brings you deep
happiness? Spending time with people you love? Having
adventures? Laughing?

3.) What is enough? I have a home I love (that's paid
for), a nice car, a healthy bank balance. Why do I even
need more and more money? Sure I could buy a bigger house,
a newer car - but what I have is enough for me. Remind
yourself when you really already have enough.

4.) Is it about you? Or about society? Let's face it,
there's a fashion and beauty industry pushing you to feel
inadequate. If we all decide we are perfectly fine just as
we are, they are gone. Same with providers of many other
types of goods and services. I'm not judging - I love nice
things. But each of use needs to know where our desires
end and societal pressure begins. The hardest voice to
hear in this world is your own.

5.) Are you holding yourself to a ridiculous standard?
Think of someone (choose a regular person rather than a
celebrity) who you think has a great life. What is it
about their life you think is great? I seldom find myself
thinking, "Oh I admire so-and-so - she's so skinny!" I
find myself thinking, "Missy has such a great life - she is
surrounded by friends and family who love her." I don't
think, "I wish I could trade places with Fred - he has such
a huge home!" I think, "I'm so happy I don't have to clean
that place! Or hire an army to do it for me." Why hold
ourselves to a standard that really doesn't matter?

Yes, how much you weigh is important if it is making you
miserable. But when you find your mood set by what the
scale says, you need to regroup. Skinny does not equal
happy. The same goes for money. If you can't take care of
your needs (not your every desire and whim, your NEEDS),
money is very important. But after a certain point, more
money does not mean more happiness.

You can be too rich or too thin, but you can never be too
happy. I wish much happiness for you."

Denise Ryan MBA also has here own blog Motivation By Chocolate (intrigued right?)

Also, check out her website where you can see more articles and sign up for a free newsletter.

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