If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I am an actress in Los Angeles, CA. This is one of the tougher towns/careers in which to find true happiness. But they sure do try to sell the idea of happiness to you! Everywhere you look there are people and companies selling workshops and classes telling you how to “market” yourself, what you should change about yourself to “get the audition”, “book the job”, “win over agents/casting directors/managers”, etc.- the list is endless. And of course, there’s about a million MORE people and companies selling laser hair removal, plastic surgery, uber-expensive makeup, hair extensions, eyelash extensions, waxing, designer clothing, plucking, tanning (spray or otherwise)…you get it.
So as you can imagine, it can prove difficult to focus on who you ACTUALLY are and what ACTUALLY makes you happy amidst all that noise.
When I came across the below video some months back, I saw the title and I admit my first reaction was “oh boo-hoo, you have fame and fortune and everything you could possibly want. Waaah, you’re depressed- SUUUURE.” And then I watched it. And it blew me away.
I have watched it many times since that first time. I have sent it on to other creative people who are struggling with a sense of self- with feeling constantly behind- with comparing themselves to others- ad infinitum. And it always brings me back to what I said in an earlier post this week:
Happiness does not derive from the circumstances we find ourselves in, but how we choose to deal with those circumstances.
So why did I include this post in my “Science of Happiness” week? It’s not written by a scientist or even a doctor- but it IS a universally proven theory/truth. This is a HUGE sample size and every single person, celebrity or otherwise, says the same thing: Happiness comes from within.
I love this video and what it has to say so much that I actually manually transcribed it below. *wipes sweat from brow* Watch it, read it, learn it, live it.
Celebs Speak Out On Fame & Materialism
Original video by Think For Yourself
Transcribed by Before I Go
“Is fame, wealth, and material success the key to happiness?”
JOSH RADNOR: When “How I Met Your Mother” first went on the air I ran into an actress that I knew and she said “are you just, like, SO happy all the time?”.
LADY GAGA: why am I unhappy? OK, ok, Stephanie, Gaga, hybrid-person- why are you unhappy? why is it that you want to quit music?
TONY HALE: And I remember thinking, like, Oh, that sitcoms comin’, it’s comin’, it’s comin’ – and when I got it… I wont say it was a depression but you kinda go through a disappointment because it can’t— that fame, or that thing, didn’t satisfy the way you thought it was gonna satisfy.
RADNOR: I had bought into the not-uncommon notion that when I taste success, when I get ‘over there’, THEN I’ll be happy. But the strangest thing happened: as the show got more successful, I got more depressed.
RUSSELL BRAND: I thought it will be good to be rich and famous, it will be good to be the opposite of this, it will be good to have stuff, it’ll be good to have money, it’ll be good to be invited to the party— Well, I’ve been invited, I’ve been in- we’re having this chat in a private swish members club in East London it’s super cool, there’s bare brick walls, everyone’s double good-lookin’. But I’ve been inside now. I seen the other side of the looking glass—it ain’t fucking worth it! It don’t feed your soul- I still feel empty inside.
ERIC CLAPTON: I had everything a man could want. Even then- I was a millionaire, I had beautiful women in my life, I had cars, a house, an incredible solid gold career, and a future…and yet, on a daily basis I wanted to commit suicide.
JOHN LENNON: As a Beatle, we made it— and there was nothing to do. We had money, and we had fame, and there was no joy.
TOM SHADYAC: The media told me every day- it’s telling you every day- what it is to be successful. So you’ve got MTV Cribs, you’ve got billionaires in front of your face, you have these extrinsic, external goals that will say ‘Oh, Tom Shadyac has arrived: he has the right house, race car, he flies privately…and when I got there it was empty.
ALEXI PANOS: I was successful in the music business, I was successful in modeling, in television, in real estate- so I made all this money and I had all this “success” and here I was going “OK, I still don’t feel any different.”
CARA DELEVIGNE: We are told that if we’re beautiful, skinny, if we’re successful, famous, if we fit in, if everyone loves us that we’ll be happy. But that’s not entirely true.
LADY GAGA: I don’t like wasting my time spending days just shaking people’s hands and smiling, taking selfies, it feels shallow to my existence. I have a lot more to offer than my image. I don’t like being used to make people money. I feel sad when I’m overworked and that I just become a money-making machine and that my passion and my creativity take a backseat- that makes me unhappy.
CAMERON DIAZ: If you are looking for fame to define you, then you will never be happy because and you will always be searching for happiness and you will NEVER find it in fame.
ESSENA O’NEIL: I was surrounded by all this wealth and all this fame and all this power, and yet- they were all miserable. And I had never been more miserable.
ALANIS MORISETTE: You know I thought all would be helped and healed and soothed by fame cuz when I get famous I will be less lonely and I will be understood and I will be loved and that love will go in and heal any of the broken parts and then I came to see that it was actually quite isolating.
“If wealth and fame isn’t the answer, what is?”
CARA DELEVIGNE: The most important journey I think all of us will go through is the journey in ourselves to find our truth, of who we are and what makes us happy
JOSH RADNOR: I saw that if I wanted to live with myself I was going to have to work on myself.
LADY GAGA: So what did I do? I started to say ‘no’. ‘I’m not doing that’, ‘I don’t wanna do that’, ‘I’m not taking that picture’, ‘I’m not going to that event’, ‘I’m not standing by that, cuz that’s not what I stand for’—and slowly but surely I remembered who I AM. And then you go home and you look in the mirror and you’re like ‘YES. I can go to bed with YOU, EVERY night.’ Cuz that person? I know that person; that person has balls, that person has integrity, that person has an opinion.
TUPAC SHAKUR: A lot of people; black, white, Mexican, young or old, fat or skinny, have a problem being true to themself. They have a problem looking in the mirror and looking directly into their own soul. I can look directly into my face and find my soul. Its THERE. It’s not sold. I didn’t sell it. It’s still within me. I still feel it. My heart is still connected to my body.
ALEXI PANOS: I stopped doing what I had always been doing which was the ‘go go go’, ‘pursue, pursue, pursue’, and I sat still and listened to that inner voice and said ‘OK, well, whaddia wanna do? What do you want to create? What do you want for your life to mean?
ESSENA O’NEIL: All we need is to feel valued, feel loved by the people around us, and to be doing something that makes us feel alive whether that’s creating something- it’s art, it’s beautiful, making a change, making a difference. Everything else: social approval and all this excess money??
TUPAC SHAKUR: There’s too much money here. I mean nobody should be hitting the lotto for 36 million and we got people starving in the streets. That is not idealistic, that’s just real. That is just stupid. There’s no way Michael Jackson should have, or whoever Jackson, should have a million-thousand-drupal-billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s NO WAY.
RUSSELL BRAND: I would prefer a culture that didn’t celebrate, exacerbate, stimulate the most negative aspects of our species. Including reward them financially until we get into a kind of cultural hysteria where we’re destroying the planet.
JOSH RADNOR: I don’t believe we’re these miserable animals wired to maximize self interest. I think that actually goes against our nature and causes us a lot of pain.
TOM SHADYAC: Darwin mentioned the word “love” 95 times in “The Dissent of Man”. He mentioned “survival of the fittest” twice. I went through 50 years of my life on Earth before I heard that. That’s insane. And I believe it comes from a culture that is humming on an insane philosophy: ‘gotta keep everybody separate gotta compete against each other, the winner gets the toys and the spoils.’ I believe you guys are in a culture that is depressing your authenticity, your creativity, it’s pitting you against each other and it’s up to YOU GUYS to birth a new culture. So yes, it is YOUR WORLD, folks. It is your world coming.
“We blame society but we ARE society. Think for yourself.”
Original source for the video: Think For Yourself: https://www.facebook.com/ThinkForYourselfPage
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