We have to puncture our own pretensions

Carrey famously wrote himself a check for ten million dollars and kept it in his pocket for seven years until he landed a role paying him that very amount. 

Hollywood cites this as one of the great modern success stories. 

But what’s even more compelling is, twenty years later, he made the following statement. 

Everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer. 

Funny how life comes full circle.

Also, it’s easy for him to say. Jim is an insanely talented artist and an internationally beloved superstar worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Who among us civilians can relate to that? 

And so, it means this is not about fame and money. This is about desire and fulfillment. Because regardless of income level and career aspirations, expectation is always a choice. Our bubble won’t need to be popped if it’s never inflated in the first place. 

But we can’t help ourselves. Not only do we not want to puncture the fragile and shiny bubble of our own happiness, we also deny that it even exists. 

This new thing is going to change everything for us, we proclaim. 

Baumeister called this behavior the hedonic treadmill, where each step brings us closer to one goal, but new goals appear in the distance just as fast. 

Another classic case of, just when we get there, there disappears. 

Will we ever learn? 

It reminds me of this lovable old guy at my yoga studio who once told me after class. Reflecting on his recent retirement, he told me and a few of the other young guys:

Get what you want quickly, so then you can puncture the illusion that it will save you. 

What if this was the ultimate form of success? What if each one of us learned to puncture our own illusions of happiness before the world did it for us? 

After all, so many of us have downloaded the idea that somebody or something is going to save us. 

But it’s just a virus of the human mind. 


Will you puncture the bubble of your own pretensions, or let the world do it for you?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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