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Designed to Strive : Why Seeking Is More Important Than Happiness (Paperback) (Adam Fraser)
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What does it look like?
I am sure there is plenty of money. Nice things, of course lots of nice things. Flash cars, expensive clothes, big …… no enormous houses, swimming pools, jewellery…. hell yes! Really offensive amounts of jewellery. Mmmmmmm something is missing? Work or rather the lack of work. Work does not exist in paradise or at the very least work that has very little stress and expectations. Sounds good doesn’t it. The stuff of dreams? Wanna go?
Counterintuitively if you want to have a fulfilled life, if you want to have good self esteem and if you want to be the best version of yourself, you would avoid paradise like the plague. How do I know, well I have been to paradise and it totally changed the way I viewed happiness. Because the paradise I went to is killing peoples souls.
This insight all started with a phone call.
I was walking down George Street in Sydney when my mobile phone rang. Upon answering it I was greeted by a woman with a very thick arabic accent. She said “ My name is Intisar I saw you present at the Dalai Lama happiness conference we would like you to come to come to Kuwait to join a team of people to help make the country happier.” My initial thought was ‘of course you do, I get these calls all the time’, I thought for certain this has to be a scam. Then my sceptical mind thought that my mates had paid this woman to prank call me. You see they do this all the time. They once hired an actor who convinced me that 60 Minutes was going to do a story on my research. Thinking that this was there doing I started being so rude to this woman, I demanded payment in rubies. I said to her I will need a camel. As expected she was shocked and questioned this request. But I stayed firm and said the camel is a deal breaker, I must have the camel. I can't remember what it was she said, but have you ever had that moment where your body goes hot from embarrassment.? I realised this is real. The most mortifying part was that the woman who 's I was being incredibly rude to goes by the title Sheikha which means princess in Kuwait.
Luckily we got past this embarrassing introduction and for the last four years I've been going to Kuwait to work on this project. What stunned me about this project is the reason why their happiness levels are dropping. To put it simply it's too easy to live there, they have too much money. The average government employee works between one and five hours per week. That is if they show up at all!
This book is the results of working with a population who have everything they want. While the Kuwaities are beautiful people and I've truly fallen in love with their country, they are empty. They are like the walking dead, who exist but don't