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Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

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Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby Scepcop » 05 Dec 2011, 04:55

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Tom-Shad ... obile-Home

Several years ago, Tom Shadyac seemed to have it all: a multimillion-dollar career directing Hollywood blockbusters like Bruce Almighty and The Nutty Professor, a 17,000-square-foot mansion, fancy cars, the luxury of flying in private jets, invitations to extravagant parties and more. It was a life many people dream about.

Despite these many luxuries, Tom says something just didn't feel right.

"I was standing in the house that my culture had taught me was a measure of the good life," Tom recalls in his documentary I Am. "I was struck with one very clear, very strange feeling: I was no happier."
Tom says that part of what's wrong with our world—and the lie that he says he was living—is our culture's definition of success.

"[We have] a very extrinsic model of success," he explains. "You have to have a certain job status, a certain amount of wealth. ... I think true success is intrinsic. ... It's love. It's kindness. It's community."

As Tom journeyed on his quest to find out what would truly make him happy and help unearth what's wrong with our world, he made major changes to his lifestyle. Today, Tom lives in a modest mobile home, bikes to work and flies commercial airlines—and he says he's never been happier.
o find out why the world is the way it is, Tom explored the readings of scientists, philosophers, poets and others, and spoke with thought leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, scientist Dean Radin, researcher Rollin McCraty of the HeartMath Institute, journalist Lynn McTaggart, professor Dacher Keltner of U.C. Berkeley, author Thom Hartmann and more.

What he discovered revolves around three key concepts that are explored in I Am:
1. It is scientifically proven that the entire human race is connected.
2. It is human nature to be cooperative rather than competitive.
3. If you don't do what your heart wants you to do and follow your passion, it will destroy you.


In I Am, Tom says, "There's one fundamental law that all of nature obeys that mankind breaks every day. Now, this is a law that's evolved over billions of years, and the law is this: Nothing in nature takes more than it needs."

In our culture, however, humans often take more than they need by buying large homes, driving expensive cars and living excessively, as Tom says he did.

"We have a term for something in the body when it takes more than its share," Tom says in the documentary. "We call it cancer."
Tom says he didn't want to be a part of that cancer—he wanted to be a part of the healing. "We must lose this cancerous idea that we have to take everything we can," he says.
In a culture that takes more than it needs and gets caught up in the quest for wealth and power, Oprah says that one of the ways we've gotten so off course is the obsession with celebrity.

Tom: Celebrity should be celebrated. We should celebrate you and others for your talent. For your gift. ... [However,] when we put people on a pedestal, [we get] in the way of our authentic selves.

Oprah: Aren't we the feeder system? Everybody who's watching it? We're the feeder system. You can see how it reflects us, and we reflect it.

Tom: The audience—you guys have all the power. You see, you have to stop elevating us. I don't want to be your hero. I want to be your brother. You know, I want to be your family member. I want to be your equal. And if you start seeing things as they are, like as the divine sees it...who will celebrate the women who swept this floor as much as any artist because she is an artist too. We're all artists. If you guys start doing that, it will change.


A big revelation in I Am is that our culture is wrongly built around the idea of competition. Tom says in the film, "That's pretty much the message that I got as a kid: 'Separate yourself from the pack.' 'Be number one.' And 'Win.'"

Though our culture may be built around competition, I Am strives to answer the question of whether it's competition or cooperation that is the essential nature of humans.

"If you talk to people in aboriginal or indigenous cultures, you find the highest societal values is cooperation. And competition is a very low value. And competition beyond certain boundaries is considered mental illness," says author Thom Hartmann in I Am. "You look at our culture, and cooperation is considered a relatively low value. And competition is considered the highest value. We celebrate the most powerful competitors."

But is competition the true essence of human nature? Thom says that scientists decided to test this hypothesis and found that it is not.

"What [scientists] found was that democracy was being played out literally every day by ... animals," Thom says. He recalls his own experiences of going scuba diving and seeing schools of fish dart around as a collective group, and also remembers watching flocks of birds in his backyard fly together and change directions suddenly while still remaining together.

"How did they know?" Thom asks. "Well, it turns out, when you do the slow-motion photography, they're all voting literally with every wing beat or with every gill beat. They're voting hundreds of times a minute. And [the scientists] said, 'We found this from insects all the way up to primates.' The basis of nature is cooperation and democracy. It's in our DNA."


Another one of the important concepts in I Am is one that Oprah has said for years: If you don't do what your heart wants you to do and follow your passion, it will destroy you.

"People find happiness in direct proportion to doing what they love," she says. "If you don't do what you love, you die a little every day."


Following one's heart may require him or her to make changes in life, and the way people change, Tom says, is to ask questions. The main question he wants people to ask themselves is this: Who are you? Not what your culture has told you to be, but who are you on the inside?

"I think many of us are living inauthentic lives," he says. "Authenticity means to be the author of your own life. I think many of us are telling stories that have been given to us rather than our own story."
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby Craig Browning » 06 Dec 2011, 01:55

I'm going a bit off topic here Scepcop but you've got me curious about something. . .

A month or two back you found it odd that people wouldn't want Fame & Fortune and all of the sudden, you have several posts up about the negative side of wealth and materialism. I'm curious as to what shifted your thinking.
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Re: Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby Scepcop » 13 Dec 2011, 03:56

Craig Browning wrote:I'm going a bit off topic here Scepcop but you've got me curious about something. . .

A month or two back you found it odd that people wouldn't want Fame & Fortune and all of the sudden, you have several posts up about the negative side of wealth and materialism. I'm curious as to what shifted your thinking.


I wasn't making any claims. I was just asking questions. This article above makes some very interesting points. So I wanted to share it.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby angelitaB » 23 Apr 2012, 12:42

In reality, the poll claims, it can greatly increase a person's quality of life, and therefore, their ability to appreciate it. But it is true only up to a point. Money may buy happiness after all. [Link removed by moderator] Some really chose other factors affecting their happiness above money, but money was nearly always close to the top. Other factors that some chose over money were spirituality, family, neighborhood safety and housing.
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Re: Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby Craig Browning » 23 Apr 2012, 23:20

Oi Vey! :roll:

I've lived in huge mansions as well as a simple tent on the beach. I've had times in which I easily saw four and five digit incomes a week and then years of little to nothing. All in all, I can say that the happiest and most precious points in my life were when I didn't have all the money & related trimmings. While money can open many doors and opportunities for us it is not the thing that makes us feel fulfilled or "rich" . . . there's a difference between being "rich" and being "wealthy" in this case; "Rich" refers to the person that has economic abundance coupled with a sense of humanism and moral balance. "Wealthy" refers to someone that has the money and who is possessed by the trappings money gives us and yet, they are empty within and not connected with the real world (like Mitt Romney)

No, I'm not talking political favorites here; Romney is simply a victim of his environment in that he was born with a silver spoon stuck in every orifice, he's never actually known what it means to work in the trenches and be a part of the "real" world vs. a life of privilege; social, political & economic advantage. As they say in 12-step groups "You Cannot Transmit Something You Haven't Got"; a person that's not lived a life dependent on drugs, booze or whatever other substance or destructive habit out there, cannot honestly relate to or be trusted by those that have. Romney and others that come from that kind of background will never understand those of us that have never known the benefits and advantages he has and now his own kids are perpetuating.

Back to the crux of things; money alone will not give you true happiness and worse, the love of money can and usually will corrupt you and on multiple levels, destroy you if you don't learn that "all that stuff" means little to nothing. This takes us back to another argument in this forum; the reason why certain types of people involved in the Spiritual & Metaphysical worlds (Psychics) will never participate in the so-called "Testing" every skeptics thinks they should eagerly volunteer for. To the more cynical type there's an assigned import given to the left brain conquest and so they are akin to those that only see the cash and related surroundings as being the thing that matters. The Psychic types (the one's that aren't in it for the sake of commerce & fame) are akin to the common human being that finds happiness even when surviving in the most difficult times of adversity. They are humble and generally modest human beings who value and honor the simplest of things in life and are not obsessed over carnal matters.

It's quite difficult for people, especially those of the Western European mind-set, to comprehend the idea of knowing Joy when you are "without" in that our culture promotes a very Masculine sense of drive -- He That Dies with the Most Toys WINS! -- which is light years away from the truth. Buddha "won" when he walked away from all worldly possessions as have many since his time. Money must have perspective as well as respect. We must understand the obligation affixed to money and live within the parameters of such standards if we are to know inner peace and a harmonious life. Money without works is dead. . . just as faith without commitment is empty -- a false thing.
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Re: Multi-millionaire explains why money can't buy happiness

Postby DorothyM » 21 Sep 2012, 13:49

Good conversation.

I think money could make you happy for a little while but not for long. People who are "rich" are always looking for something that money can buy them to make them happy, and it's a quick fix thing.

Money can't buy happiness at all. After all what is money? Money of course can help many people in many ways but at the same time damage people's lives. Some people don't know how to save money but they are best at using the money quickly on materialistic things for the moment. It surely can help me pay for college and help my parents in many ways.

However, a new survey defies the old saw that cash cannot buy contentment. In fact, the poll claims, it can greatly boost an individual's quality of life, and therefore, their ability to appreciate it. But it is true only up to a point. Read more here: Money may buy happiness after all
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