Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Consumption of Happiness

The Consumption of Happiness, Consume, consume, consume

Hey, as cyclists we are better than those crazed consumers who spend every nickel they make on something new to keep up with their neighbors. I wish this was true but I have never seen a sport so obsessed with the latest gadget that impresses your friends but does nothing to improve your riding. Things will not make you a better rider and things will not make you happy either. Sure, "things" can really pick up your mood for a day, week or even a month but then you realize nothing has changed and you return to the same level you were before the new "thing". Then you sink lower and the cycle repeats, buy something, feel good, realize that it wasn't the life changing thing you thought it was going to be, get upset that you spent so much money on a disappointing item and then look for something new to do what this thing couldn't. I am not advocating being a monk with no possessions but a bed roll and a bowl, just realizing that "things" don't make you happy, you make you happy.

Happiness and skill are very closely related, both are results not "things" that you can own or possess. People are too busy searching for happiness and/or that part/bike/wheelset that is going to make them better. I am here to say that "happiness" and "skills" are a state of being not a destination. They both require constant upkeep, change and growth to maintain them. So start the new year by investing your time, money and energy on growing in ways that will lead to living a happy and fulfilling life, not the latest possession that makes you the coolest one on the block (for a week or two until somebody gets a new/cooler gadget).

Create a great new year,



gwadzilla said...

happy new year!

ashwinearl said...

Good, functional equipment is a necessity but the like all movement intensive sports there is no way to 'doctor dollar' (throw many at it to make it better) skills.

One thing I've personally experienced from your clinics and then seen in other people is the personal empowerment that comes with developing skills and proficiency. I saw some people who were scared of the trails eventually ride over something they never in the world thought they could ever do.

That kind of empowerment carries over into every facet of life and is priceless.

Yvette said...

You make me smile. :) I read both this and the last blog from just after Christmas -- your personality and zest for life shine through! Did you get "kids on bikes" into your own life yet? Remember there are some great trails in Coe and they've recently opened up some new ones! My kids love some of the trails there!

Can't agree more about consumption, too! Our actions and what we leave behind are much more important than the number of toys we collect along the way.

Creating a Happier Me!