More is better, right? Well, not necessarily…

More is better Dr. Pamela ChrabiehLife is complex, I agree! Still, why do we complicate things that are simple?

Birth and death are not simple. Wars are not simple. Sickness is not simple. Suffering solitude is not simple. Trying to find if God exists or not is not simple. Trying to enjoy life while knowing that you will die someday is not simple. Debating on these issues is an endless adventure. But wearing a particular type of clothes, eating a delicious dessert, stating your opinion about the weather or the family-in-law, should not be subjects of never-ending arguing. Unnecessary upsetting leads not only to emotional disturbance but also to a chaotic life.

I tried to recall one of my regular days in 2010 when I used to teach at three universities while taking care of my child, husband and house. I used to wake up at 4.30/5 in the morning and sleep at 11.30/12 at night. And I’m not counting the never-ending ‘nuits blanches’ spent while having health issues. This is the year I developed multiple allergies and was rushed many times to Emergency Rooms, not being able to breathe. Overlapping choirs, duties, responsibilities… An endless complex to-do list while experiencing the anguish of trying to make everything ‘perfect’.

Life is complex, but I am more and more convinced that we over-complicate it when we constantly introduce negativity in its process and when we focus on the ‘wants’ more than on the ‘needs’. What about when we decide we are so worthy of certain things in our life, and so many people have high demands on everything? What about spending too much money to make an impression on others?

“Studies of happiness and wealth repeatedly show that beyond a certain level of income or material prosperity, happiness levels do not continue to increase with increased levels of wealth. That is to say, once you have what you actually need (and maybe plus a little extra for security/retirement), you are set in terms of how your happiness level will be impacted. Other factors then become more central to your sense of happiness or fulfillment. Too often, in a materialistic society, people can become myopically preoccupied or even obsessed with achieving greater levels of wealth and/or amassing the trappings that wealth can provide. While it can feel good to earn a high salary, and while there is nothing morally wrong with doing so, to expect that a higher amount in your bank account will keep you fully satisfied emotionally is short-sighted”.

I think more people would be happy living a simple, yet comfortable life doing the right thing for themselves. And what about the answers to all the complicated questions about existence in itself? Well, there are multiple beliefs that bring us to some place of peace. Maybe we need to practice that peace and not create ugliness with others that leads to more drama and more complications. Maybe we need to have less “things” in our life. Maybe we need to fill our days only doing the most quality things we totally believe in and that are meaningful.

More is better, right? Well, not necessarily…

“Such impulses are useful when resources are scarce and we need to strive to survive. But there thankfully is a limit when it comes to meeting personal needs, and that is what we need to keep in mind when pursuing happiness in the modern world”.

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  1. Dr Chrabieh, i agree!
    we over-complicate things in our life! and especially while living in a society such as the Lebanese where materialism and show-off are portrayed as the must for a happy life !

  2. Thank you Dr. for this post! Refreshing on this morning 🙂
    positive attitude!

  3. Thank you Dr. Chrabieh. I aslo appreciate the personal touch in your writings …
    “Does having more free time make a person happier? How about possessing more material goods? At first glance, it may seem as though having less free time or material goods would cause one to be less happy, and conversely, having more free time or material goods would cause one to be happier. However, according to a study by Chris Manolis of Xavier University and James Roberts of Baylor University, this is not always true. In fact, having too much free time or too many material goods can be just as bad as having too little”.

  4. Hello Dr. Chrabieh! Nice post and blog!
    I also visited your Facebook Page, Impressing!
    Appreciating what we already have in our lives… Without stopping to work, dream, having expectations … the key is to try to reach a balance!

  5. Thank you all!
    This is also applied on the Business level … When the overriding goal is improving your numbers, it becomes almost impossible to determine when enough is enough.
    This kind of thinking, of course, is anathema !! The CEO of any publicly traded company would be scorned, maybe even fired, for expressing such beliefs. Few venture capitalists would place a bet on an entrepreneur willing to settle for less. Business leaders, we are told, are charged with the task of maximizing–maximizing shareholder value, maximizing employee productivity, maximizing return on investment, maximizing profits.

  6. Agree!!
    also applied in Marketing!
    More is not necessarily better. Three simple marketing ideas, executed well, and followed through to completion, may be all you need to build your business. Twenty fancy marketing ideas, executed poorly, and left incomplete due to lack of time and resources, might just drive you out of business instead.

  7. I am more a philosophical person 😉 but i do agree with previous comments concerning business and marketing applications! and i honestly think it’s all linked. the way products are marketed, the way we learn to do business, the way we are told to treat each others, the way media portray “happy” people or what happiness should be… based on an accumulation of objects and products even if we don’t need them.. why should i need a ‘new car’ if mine is fine? why should i need the 2013 louis vuitton bag for 10 000 $ if i have a nice leather bag for 150$?

  8. thank you Dr. for this nice post. i don’t have a problem in wanting more, until now… 😉

  9. Well, it all depends on the ‘more’ you want and/or need, and the price you’re ready to pay for it! If it costs your health or a relationship, etc. meaning if it causes an imbalance in your life… you will definitely feel dissatisfied!

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