The Unhappiness Fantasy
‘if I won the lottery … ‘
‘I’m not really a waiter … ‘
‘if you had my problems, you’d drink too much too …’
‘if I could have my time over … ‘
‘if I looked like her, everything would be … ‘
‘all I need is a villa in St Tropez with 5 live in bikini clad fuck buddies and an understanding wife … ‘
There are a number of quite severe problems which go with fantasizing about happiness being just around the corner, dependant on an unlikely or improbable scenario.
First and most obvious is it ain’t gonna happen. You’re a slightly overweight pasty older person with a tendency to piles, incipient tooth problems and poor diet. You won’t get the bikini babes unless you have a disposable income of $400 milion plus…and that’s not going to happen. You aren’t going to win the lottery. You stand more chance of being killed by a shark … in Chiswick.
You aren’t going to look like Cameron Diaz or Julia Roberts – not ever!
Yes, you really are a waiter. You aren’t an actor, musician, racing driver … you are a waiter. I can see you waiting. You are at the table with your little pad and your phony smile ‘what can I get you guys?’ read my lips … “”you’re a bloody waiter!”
Where is this going? It’s going to a very smart person I know. She is not a friend. She is a very smart person I know. She came up with the unhappiness fantasy. it’s completely on the money. It goes like this.
We imagine that, if only things were different, the unhappiness which we currently feel would be replaced by happiness.
In fact what is happening is that, by creating the illusion that there is a happiness waiting for us, just out of reach, that very illusion is what defines our current state as unhappy.
So our unhappiness is a self inflicted result of our fantasy of happiness somewhere else. And this unhappiness is, too, a fantasy.
Yes, our current unhappiness is a total fantasy of our own creation.
We see everything in the present as rubbish compared with the villa and the babes, our state as a waiter as rubbish compared with the rock god we could so easily be, we think of how easily we would quit the bottle if only we had a nice house, a loving partner, good friends and a steady job.
Actually the reason you don’t have any of those things is directly because you drink too much and you don’t have the guts to stop.
The reason you are a waiter is you are afraid to pick up a guitar, practice eight hours a day and live on corn. The reason you don’t have the villa and the babes is that you don’t look after yourselves, work hard enough, take risks and go for the big adventure.
And by the way, Cameron Diaz gets piles, Julia Roberts gets dumped, most rock stars drink too much – and Haarvard University did a 15 year study on how the more money we have, the unhappier we get.
And most important of all, by fantasizing about a great life somewhere else, we miss all the joy, beauty, adventure, reward and bliss of the present. I just finished a beautiful salad of iceberg, parmesan, peppers and water cress with someone I really love. The tennis final was terrific. I went for a walk in a beautiful late afternoon. My children love me. I take risks every day. I am not addicted to anything. I’m seen as the fussiest eater ever … rubbish … there are 12 things I love to eat so much that they are all I wish to eat, and on top of that they make me feel great compared with how I feel when I eat Macdonalds.
Compared with lying on a poolside fur bedspread being sexed by 5 women while a uniformed servant counts my money, it may well be shyt … but … get the picture?